After it was reported last weekend that US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded his conversation – in which Trump was heard discussing paying off a former model who claims she had an affair with him — the tape was aired on CNN.
The recording has Cohen and Trump discussing a payment to Karen McDougal, who claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007. In 2016, Cohen had arranged a $150,000 deal between McDougal and American Media Inc., run by David Pecker, in which the media company promised to publish her fitness columns in exchange for her staying quiet about the alleged affair.
Cohen said that he needed to start a company “for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” likely referring to David Pecker. He then proceeded to discuss financing when Trump interrupted him and asked, “What financing?”
“We’ll have to pay,” Cohen responded.
Trump uses the words “pay with cash”, though it isn’t clear whether he means that the payment should or should not be made in cash.
Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis attacked Trump for lying about being unaware of the payment during his presidential campaign.
Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer and one of Trump’s prominent defenders, said on CNN that the tape revealed nothing that was an impeachable offence.
Here’s lawyer Michael Avenatti weighing in.
Trump’s current lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed the recording, but said the President hadn’t done anything wrong. He also went on Fox News to defend Trump after the tape was aired.
Trump tweeted his innocence and said it was “inconceivable” that Cohen had recorded him.