President Trump has told aides that his administration could face new legal trouble after the president’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, said in a television interview that they had discussed arranging a payment to a porn star who alleges they had an affair.
The news reports have intensified speculation over whether the Justice Department is investigating Mr. Trump for a possible crime of attempted extortion or campaign finance violations.
Several reports said Mr. Trump told his aides last month that he was concerned the story would be covered by CNN, which cited an anonymous source.
The president told others last month that it was “highly unlikely” the false statement he released regarding the payment would spread, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
A person close to Mr. Trump who had been told of Mr. Trump’s comments said the president was concerned about potential legal trouble and was wary of the implications of cooperating with his former lawyer and fixer.
“This won’t work out for him,” the person said.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders brushed off the reports, saying Mr. Trump “has continued to have a lot of trust and confidence in Michael.”