The attorney for President Trump's former longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen has given CNN a copy of a secretly recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen, in which they discuss purchasing the rights to a Playboy model's claim that she and Trump had an affair.
The audio is muffled, but Trump can be heard saying "pay with cash", though it isn't clear if he is suggesting to pay with cash or not to pay with cash.
This morning Trump tweeted in response to the tape and asked, "What kind of lawyer would tape a client?"
The operatives also warned of the motives surrounding Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis. It is critically important that he receive top-quality representation, that his lawyers be coordinated, and that Trump be at least generally aware of their strategies.
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Said Davis: "Michael Cohen has turned a corner in his life, and he's now dedicated to telling the truth to everyone, and we'll see what happens...." "I think what this speaks to is something that Americans should really focus onーthat Donald Trump had a system in place inside of his organization that was devised and directed to deal with the women with whom he had various affairs".
President Trump has responded on Twitter. "I agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear".
The tape appears to contradict the Trump campaign's later claim that Trump knew nothing about payments to a media company to keep model Karen McDougal's story from becoming public.
Davis, who worked for the Bill Clinton White House, has accused Trump's new personal lawyer, former federal prosecutor and NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, of disparaging Cohen, alleging the Trump camp are "afraid" of his client.
Giuliani has said the the recording shows Trump did nothing wrong. "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence". Sources tell ABC News Cohen proposed paying about $150,000 to AMI.
The tape involves Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had a months-long fling with Trump after they met in 2006. The suit says the foundation routinely and willfully broke the law by engaging in self-dealing that ultimately came to include illegal coordination with Trump's political campaign.