A 2016 conversation made by Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, who is facing a federal criminal investigation in New York, aired on CNN Tuesday night — a tape on which Trump can be heard instructing Cohen to pay hush money to a former Playboy playmate who says that she had an affair with Trump. In fact, Trump instructs Cohen to pay off the Playboy centerfold model, Karen McDougal, “with cash.”
Full audio of the tape may be heard below on this page. According to the CNN report, Cohen’s own attorney, Lanny Davis, provided the network with the previously confidential audio recording of the conversation which took place in September of 2016, two months before the 2016 presidential election.
“What is this about? This is about honesty versus false disparagement of Michael Cohen,” Davis told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. “Why is (Trump lawyer Rudy) Giuliani out falsely disparaging Michael Cohen — because they fear him.”
A lawyer for the Trump Organization told CNN that when Trump used the word “cash” he was not referring to “green currency.”
“There’s no transaction done in green currency. It doesn’t happen. The whole deal never happened,” Trump Org lawyer Alan Futerfas told the network. The tape is believed to be one of 12 secret recordings made by Cohen that are now in the hands of federal prosecutors, according to a report by ABC News.
Full audio: Presidential candidate Trump is heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier, according to the audio recording "https://t.co/YmC0QuDqTx pic.twitter.com/fBbq7r1Lq9— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 25, 2018
McDougal was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer, a national tabloid owned by Trump’s friend and supporter David Pecker, as the Inquisitr has reported. On the tape, Cohen can be heard saying, “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.” The “David” mentioned by Cohen apparently refers to Pecker, according to the Washington Post.
Former Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks in November 2016 flatly denied that Trump had any knowledge of the payment to McDougal, as Vox reported on Tuesday. But that denial has now been proven false by Trump himself, in the previously secret Cohen tape.
When the existence of the tape became public knowledge over the weekend, as theInquisitr reported, Giuliani claimed that the tape cleared Trump of any wrongdoing, telling the New York Times that “nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance.” But that assertion also appears to be proven false by the newly released Trump-Cohen tape.
The tape also contains a segment in which Trump and Cohen discuss attempts by the New York Times to unseal court records from Trump’s divorce from the first of his three wives, Ivana Trump. In those documents, as the New Yorker reported, Ivana Trump gives a sworn deposition in which she alleges that Donald Trump raped her in 1989, while in a fit of rage over a painful plastic surgery procedure he had recently undergone, to remove a bald spot on his scalp.
On the tape, Trump says of the divorce records, “They should never be able to get that.”