Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani has confirmed that Trump discussed payment to the ex-Playmate, Karen McDougal, and was recorded on the Michael Cohen tapes.
According to CNN, the FBI is in possession of a recording between Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, discussing payment to the ex-Playmate in 2016, just a mere two months before the election. Giuliani described the conversation as “mundane” and nothing the president has to worry about. But another source spoke to CNN saying that, “the conversation is not as Giuliani described and is not good for the President, though the source would not elaborate.”
The New York Times was the first to report that the tapes were seized earlier this year during a raid on Cohen’s office.
“The former model, Karen McDougal, says she began a nearly yearlong affair with Mr. Trump in 2006, shortly after Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, gave birth to their son Barron. Ms. McDougal sold her story for $150,000 to The National Enquirer,” according to the New York Times.
McDougal signed a contract with American Media Inc, the company that owns The National Enquirer, which barred her from speaking about the affair until after the 2016 election. On the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to her contract with AMI, according to Giuliani.
Giuliani said the discussion involved their intention to reimburse AMI for what they laid out and to “do it by check, properly recorded.” He went on to say the recording was less than two minutes long and Trump did not know he was being recorded. Giuliani also said that the discussed payment ended up never even happening.
Campaign-finance law experts say that if a payment is made to purposely influence an election, it can be considered a campaign contribution and could harm the candidate.
Cohen declined to comment on the tapes, but his attorney told CNN that the recording will not hurt Cohen. Meanwhile, McDougal’s lawyer tweeted: “@karenmcdougal98–> When @realDonaldTrump said we were lying, do you think he meant we WEREN’T?” and linked the New York Times article.
— Peter K. Stris (@PeterStris) July 20, 2018
CNN reached out to the first lady, Melania Trump, whose spokesperson released a single statement.
“Mrs. Trump remains focused on her role as a mother and as First Lady of the United States. We will have no further comment on the topic.”
Trump has yet to comment on the most updated news of this matter. When CNN asked if Trump still denied the affair allegations Giuliani answered.
“I haven’t asked him again. I don’t know if that’s changed, but none of this tape suggests that he did.”