Trump attacks Michael Cohen over 'Playboy model payment tape'

21 July, 2018, 17:39 | Author: Wade Massey
  • US President Donald Trump waits for reporters to leave the room after speaking about his summit with Russia’s President Putin

Cohen, who served for a decade as a lawyer at the Trump Organization, was known to sometimes record conversations with associates, store them digitally and then replay them for colleagues, as The Washington Post reported in April.

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2018.

This afternoon news broke that President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, had a secret tape of a conversation between himself and Mr. Trump seized in an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid earlier this year.

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

The president also insisted he had done nothing wrong.

Earlier this year, in an interview with CNN, McDougal detailed what she said was a 10-month affair she had with Trump in 2006 and 2007.

"I think we need to bring this in-house", Cohen tells Trump in the recording, a source told The Post.

McDougal has said she began a almost year-long affair with Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth.

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Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed the existence of the McDougal tape, but said the two-minute call showed no wrongdoing on Trump's behalf and was actually "powerful exculpatory evidence". The National Enquirer, however, did not publish the story.

In the 90-second conversation, Cohen can be heard urging Trump to consider buying the rights to McDougal's claims to better "control" the story, according to people familiar with the exchange.

While, such tapes do not necessarily imply guilt on the part of Cohen or the President, Trump's reaction certainly doesn't sound like something coming from an individual with nothing to worry about. She declined to comment further.

The New Yorker magazine reported in February that Trump had an affair with McDougal at the same time he had a relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels and that the National Enquirer prevented McDougal's story being made public.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

It is a potential problem for Mr Trump because undisclosed payments to bury embarrassing stories about a political candidate can be treated as a violation of U.S. campaign finance laws.

What has Trump previously said?

Cohen has not been charged with any crime.

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