Cohen's Attorney Releases Tape Of Cohen-Trump Chat About Karen McDougal

Cohen's Attorney Releases Tape Of Cohen-Trump Chat About Karen McDougal

Cohen's Attorney Releases Tape Of Cohen-Trump Chat About Karen McDougal

President Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen.

Cohen can be heard on the tape saying that he needed to start a company "for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David", a possible reference to David Pecker, Trump's friend and president of the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc.

The audio is muffled, but can be heard saying to "pay with cash" and Cohen immediately says, "no, no". "The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters", he added.

Weisselberg isn't a bit player in Trumplandia and his emergence on the Cohen-Trump recording - as someone possibly facilitating a scheme apparently meant to disguise a payoff - should worry the president.

Trump lashed out Wednesday morning over the release of the tape. An attorney for Cohen called Trump's statement "false". It is critically important that he receive top-quality representation, that his lawyers be coordinated, and that Trump be at least generally aware of their strategies.

"Did Michael Cohen betray you?" a reporter asked.

Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, insists the president never paid McDougal but had acknowledged that the audio, which dates back to September 2016, captured a discussion related to the buying the story rights.

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The Enquirer had already purchased McDougal's account of her affair with Trump earlier in 2016 and then never published it. Trump and Cohen appear to be discussing a second payment to McDougal (and there is no indication that it was ever made).

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Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said the other 11 recordings are of Cohen discussing Trump with other, unnamed individuals. When previously questioned about Ms McDougal, President Trump had denied the affair and said he had no knowledge of any payment.

The tape doesn't prove McDougal's allegations of an affair and at no point in the recording does Trump acknowledge whether he had a sexual relationship with McDougal.

As I noted in a column in April, the press and others have sometimes characterized Cohen as the man who knows all of Trump's secrets or even, errantly, as someone who ran the Trump Organization with the president's children.

Giuliani has said the the recording shows Trump did nothing wrong.

The tape appears to contradict the Trump campaign's later claim that Trump knew nothing about payments to a media company to keep model Karen McDougal's story from becoming public.

During an interview on Fox News, Napolitano explained why the secretly recorded tape could be concerning for Trump and his associates.

Cohen released the tape of himself seeming to talk with then-candidate Trump about payments to a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Trump while he was married to his current wife, first lady Melania Trump. Cohen said at the time "In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford". At the time, a Trump spokeswoman said his campaign had "no knowledge of any of this".

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