Published On: Sat, Jul 21st, 2018

Trump lashes out at Cohen for tapes of him discussing payment to Playboy model

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President Donald Trump is not happy his former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded a conversation they had about a payment for a story that Trump had an alleged affair with a Playboy model. 

Trump broke his silence on Saturday tweeting that it was ‘inconceivable’ and possibly illegal that Cohen recording him without his knowledge.    

‘Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,’ the president wrote. 

Trump broke his silence on Saturday and is not happy Cohen recorded their conversation about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal

Trump broke his silence on Saturday and is not happy Cohen recorded their conversation about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal

Trump broke his silence on Saturday and is not happy Cohen recorded their conversation about a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal

Trump said Cohen recording their private conversation, which took place before the 2016 election, is 'possibly illegal'

Trump said Cohen recording their private conversation, which took place before the 2016 election, is 'possibly illegal'

Trump said Cohen recording their private conversation, which took place before the 2016 election, is ‘possibly illegal’

‘The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!’  

On Friday, it was reported that authorities have obtained a copy of a recording of a conversation Trump had with Cohen two months before the 2016 election about a Playboy model who claims she had an affair with Trump.

The model, Karen McDougal, got a $150,000 payment from the National Enquirer for her story, although it never ran. She says she had a year-long affair with Trump.

The FBI seized Cohen’s devices during a raid on his home and office in New York this spring. A court then oversaw the culling of millions of documents and files to determine which ones might be protected by attorney-client priveledge.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the recording is two minutes long, the New York Times reported.   

McDougal says she had a year-long affair with Trump after the birth of his son Baron

McDougal says she had a year-long affair with Trump after the birth of his son Baron

McDougal says she had a year-long affair with Trump after the birth of his son Baron

CNN reported on air that Trump only learned of the existence of the tape this week and exclaimed, ‘I can’t believe Michael would do this to me.’

Cohen is under criminal investigation on possible tax and campaign finance charges, and it is unclear if the tape would apply added pressure to him.

President Trump and his associates are closely watching Cohen to see if he decides to cooperate with authorities should charges be brought against him.

If payments to McDougal are deemed to have been an effort to circumvent campaign finance laws and their strict limits on monetary contributions to a political campaign, it could provide legal exposure for Cohen. 

Giuliani said the recording would play to Trump’s benefit.  

McDougal is seen far right in this photo with Melania Trump (third from left), Donald Trump (center), and Ivanka Trump (third from right

McDougal is seen far right in this photo with Melania Trump (third from left), Donald Trump (center), and Ivanka Trump (third from right

McDougal is seen far right in this photo with Melania Trump (third from left), Donald Trump (center), and Ivanka Trump (third from right

McDougal received a $150,000 payment in exchange for her story, which never ran

McDougal received a $150,000 payment in exchange for her story, which never ran

McDougal received a $150,000 payment in exchange for her story, which never ran

Cohen is under criminal investigation. Authorities obtained tape he made of a conversation with Trump about McDougal

Cohen is under criminal investigation. Authorities obtained tape he made of a conversation with Trump about McDougal

Cohen is under criminal investigation. Authorities obtained tape he made of a conversation with Trump about McDougal

‘Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,’ Giuliani said, according to the Times, and said Trump told Cohen that if he made a payment to McDougal, he should write a check, rather than using cash, so it could be properly documented.

In the case of another woman who claimed an affair with Trump, porn star Stormy Daniels, Cohen did write her a check, using an LLC he set up immediately beforehand. 

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the phone call would be 'exculpatory' for his client

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the phone call would be 'exculpatory' for his client

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the phone call would be ‘exculpatory’ for his client

Cohen has retained new legal representation, a possible signal he may be preparing to cooperate with prosecutors

Cohen has retained new legal representation, a possible signal he may be preparing to cooperate with prosecutors

Cohen has retained new legal representation, a possible signal he may be preparing to cooperate with prosecutors

The alleged affair began shortly after the birth of Trump's son, Baron

The alleged affair began shortly after the birth of Trump's son, Baron

The alleged affair began shortly after the birth of Trump’s son, Baron

One of Cohen's lawyers, Lanny Davis, said 'any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape' 

One of Cohen's lawyers, Lanny Davis, said 'any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape' 

One of Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny Davis, said ‘any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape’ 

‘In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,’ said Giuliani.

Lawyer Peter Stris, who negotiated a settlement between McDougal and American Media Inc., tweeted: ‘When @realDonaldTrump said we were lying, do you think he meant we WEREN’T?’ – in a play on Trump’s walk-back of his statement about Russian election meddling.

The Washington Post reported that the September 2016 story – two months before the election – involved a plan by Cohen to buy the rights to McDougal’s story. But the deal never happened.

When the Wall Street Journal broke the story on the payment and the alleged affair days before the election, Trump spokeswoman and later White House communications director Hope Hicks said, ‘We have no knowledge of any of this.’ 

Under the arrangement, David Pecker, chairman of American Media, which owns the National Enquirer, oversaw a $150,000 payment to McDougal. Pecker is a longtime friend of Trump’s and a political supporter.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said it is 'powerful exculpatory evidence' for Trump

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said it is 'powerful exculpatory evidence' for Trump

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said it is ‘powerful exculpatory evidence’ for Trump

Cohen met with MSBNC host and New York figure Rev. Al Sharpton, who he says he has known for 20 years.

‘Just spent an hour w/ Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney. I bet you’re wondering what we could be talking about! Stay tuned,’ Sharpton teased on Twitter.

‘I’ve known [Cohen] for maybe 20 years. He was a Democrat. He used to broker meetings between Trump and I when we were fighting,’ Sharpton followed up.

Cohen replied to one of Sharpton’s tweets, writing: ‘I have known Rev for almost 20 years. No one better to talk to!’ 

Porn Star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said there are more Cohen tapes out there.

‘I know for a fact that this is not the only tape,’ Avenatti told MSNBC.

‘I think this is a very serious matter and I think that any or all audio tapes that Michael Cohen has in his possession relating to this president should be released for the public,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing that’s stopping Michael Cohen from releasing the audio recordings that he made between him and the president concerning my client, Ms. McDougal, and others,’ Avenatti added.

One of Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny Davis, said ‘any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape.’

‘When the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen,’ Davis said in a statement.

Porn Star Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti said there are more Cohen tapes out there

Porn Star Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti said there are more Cohen tapes out there

Porn Star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti said there are more Cohen tapes out there

 

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