President calls taping 'unheard of and perhaps illegal'

Leroy Wright
July 22, 2018

He said the FBI's raid on Cohen's office was "inconceivable", but alleged Cohen's actions were "even more inconceivable" and "perhaps illegal". However, 11 states, including Florida, where Trump spends a lot of time, do require both people in a conversation are aware a recording is taking place. He said Trump did not know he was being recorded and claimed that the president had done nothing wrong. He said the tape would show that Trump makes it clear that if there is going to be a payment, it should be done by check, which would be easily traced.

The recording was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a raid of Cohen's office earlier this year.

The recording about the former model, Karen McDougal, which occurred prior to the election, was among the troves of documents and materials that the FBI seized from Cohen's office, home and hotel in NY back in April amid a criminal investigation of Cohen by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of NY. However, the episode raised the possibility that Mr Cohen secretly recorded other conversations with Mr Trump and senior campaign figures. Michael Cohen, the man who once said he'd be willing to take a bullet for Donald Trump, has now provided perhaps the strongest evidence against him. Laws in NY governing the recording of phone conversations do not require two-party consent. Giuliani also said the recording in question is less than two minutes long.

The New Yorker magazine reported in February that Trump had an affair with McDougal at the same time he had a relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels and that the National Enquirer prevented McDougal's story being made public.

Trump had apparently been unaware of the recordings until he was told about them earlier this week. Trump, who married first lady Melania Trump in January 2005, has repeatedly denied having an affair with McDougal, the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year. An attorney for Cohen called Trump's statement "false".

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

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The revelation of the tape comes as Cohen has signalled that he might be willing to cooperate with the federal investigation into his business dealings, a probe that has examined his interactions with AMI and a hush-money payment he arranged with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who also claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.

The former model, Karen McDougal, said she began an almost yearlong affair with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron, the Times said.

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape". It is the client who owns the privilege and not the lawyer.

"We have no knowledge of any of this", she said.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Trump and Mr Cohen discussed possibly paying American Media Inc, the parent company of the National Enquirer, for the rights to Ms McDougal's story. "AMI had bought the rights from McDougal", Giuliani said in a short interview on Saturday.

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