Secret Trump-Cohen Tape Discussing How They Would Buy The Rights To Playboy Model's Story LEAKED
A secret audio recording of Donald Trump discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy a Playboy model's story about her alleged affair with him has been revealed.
In the tape, obtained and aired by CNN on Tuesday, the president can be heard speaking to his lawyer about the proposal to buy Karen McDougal's story. Trump's campaign had previously claimed it knew nothing about any payment to McDougal.
Cohen is heard on the recording - made in September 2016 - telling Trump he plans to set up a company to purchase the rights of the story from American Media who bought it from McDougal for $150,000.
McDougal is a former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with Trump from 2006 until 2007 while he was married to Melania.
At one point Trump appears to tell Cohen 'pay with cash' but the president's lawyer Rudy Guilani insists he says 'don't pay with cash' - sparking a fierce debate.
Guiliani had previously said that Trump ordered Cohen to pay by check so that the money would be documented and above-board.
'I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,' Cohen said in the recording - thought to be a reference to American Media head David Pecker.
Trump interjects to ask 'What financing' which his lawyer responds: 'We'll have to pay.'
The then presidential candidate interrupts again but his voice is muffled. He is heard to say 'pay with cash', but it's unclear if he suggested to pay with cash or said don't pay with cash.
Cohen replies: 'No, no, no, no.'
'Check,' Trump adds.
Davis, 72, formerly special counsel to President Bill Clinton, said he gave the copy to the network to defend his client who was 'falsely accused.'
Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen is accused of receiving US$500,000 from a Russian oligarch linked to election meddling.
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.
Before it was leaked, Giuliani said the recording would play to Trump's benefit.
'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.
After the tape was released, he told Fox News on Tuesday it was 'outrageous' that it had been leaked to the media and questioned whether it ended at a key part in the conversation.
Giuliani claims that the rest of the recording, if it hadn't cut off, would have been 'exculpatory'.
He also told The Associated Press that Trump did not want to pay cash and 'suggesting otherwise is ridiculous.'
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF TRUMP AND COHEN'S DISCUSSION
TRUMP: [In background] Good. Let me know what's happening, okay? Oh, oh. Maybe because of this it would be better if you didn't go, you know? Maybe because of this. For that one, you know, I think what you should do is get rid of this. Because it's so false what they're saying, it's such bulls**t.
Um. [PAUSE] I think, I think this goes away quickly. I think what — I think it's probably better to do the Charleston thing, just this time. Uh, yeah. In two weeks, it's fine. I think right now it's, it's better. You know?
Okay, honey. You take care of yourself. Thanks, babe. Yup, I'm proud of you. So long. Bye.
[Into phone] What's happening?
COHEN: Great poll, by the way.
COHEN: Seen it. Great poll.
TRUMP: Making progress.
COHEN: Big time.
TRUMP: And, your guy is a good guy. He's a good —
COHEN: Who, Pastor Scott?
TRUMP: Can't believe this. No, Pastor Scott. What's, what's happening —
COHEN: No —
TRUMP: Can we use him anymore?
COHEN: Oh, yeah, a hundred — no, you're talking about Mark Burns. He's, we've told him to [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
TRUMP: I don't need that — Mark Burns, are we using him?
COHEN: No, no.
FEMALE: Richard [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. I'm sorry, Richard [UNINTELLIGIBLE] just called. He — just when you have a chance, he had an idea for you.
TRUMP: Okay, great.
COHEN: Um, so, we got served from the New York Times. I told you this — we were …
TRUMP: To what?
COHEN: … To unseal the divorce papers with Ivana. Um, we're fighting it. Um, [Trump attorney Marc] Kasowitz is going to —
TRUMP: They should never be able to get that.
COHEN: Never. Never. Kasowitz doesn't think they'll ever be able to. They don't have a —
TRUMP: Get me a Coke, please!
COHEN: They don't have a legitimate purpose, so —
TRUMP: And you have a woman that doesn't want this.
TRUMP: Who you've been handling.
COHEN: Yes. And —
TRUMP: And it's been going on for a while.
COHEN: About two, three weeks now.
TRUMP: All you've got to do is delay for —
COHEN: Even after that, it's not ever going to be opened. There's no, there's no purpose for it. Um, told you about Charleston.
I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that — I'm going to do that right away. I've actually come up and I've spoken —
TRUMP: Give it to me and get me a [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
COHEN: And, I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with …
TRUMP: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?
COHEN: … Funding . . . Yes. Um, and it's all the stuff.
TRUMP: Yeah, I was thinking about that.
COHEN: All the stuff. Because — here, you never know where that company — you never know what he's —
TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.
COHEN: Correct. So, I'm all over that. And, I spoke to Allen about it, when it comes time for the financing, which will be —
TRUMP: Wait a sec, what financing?
COHEN: Well, I'll have to pay him something.
TRUMP: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] pay with cash.
COHEN: No, no, no, no, no. I got it.
[Tape cuts off abruptly. Separate recording begins.]
MALE: Hey Don, how are you?
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