New Trump-Cohen audio recording captures talk of Playboy model payoff

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump

Cohen explains, "We'll have to pay", and Trump can be heard saying, "pay with cash".

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now on Trump's personal legal team, confirmed Friday that Cohen secretly recorded a telephone conversation with Trump about a possible payment to an ex-Playboy model over an alleged affair.

In the September 2016 conversation, Trump and Cohen discussed paying the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid for the rights to the story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Giuliani previously said in an interview.

Without any claim to attorney-client privilege, investigators - including those working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation - would have free reign to examine a slew of documents and tapes about Trump and Cohen's business dealings. CBS News has not verified the recording's authenticity. Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said the other 11 recordings are of Cohen discussing Trump with other, unnamed individuals.

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One of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, appeared on CNN Tuesday night to claim responsibility for providing the tape. Investigators are looking into whether Cohen violated campaign-finance laws, engaged in illegal lobbying or committed bank fraud or wire fraud.

Government watchdog group Common Cause has said that the proposed payment benefited Trump's presidential election campaign and the failure to document it was potentially illegal.

The audio recording isn't clear, so it's hard to tell if the president is asking Cohen to pay in cash or not pay in cash. Although his audio recording doesn't confirm that, it does provide evidence that makes that possibility more likely. "It's about truth", Davis said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. The tape, made two months before the 2016 presidential election, captures Trump discussing a potential payment for a former Playboy model's account of having an affair with him. AMI had bought them from McDougal for $150,000 (£114,080) but AMI did not publish her story. The recording proves that President Trump had knowledge of a proposal to buy the rights to the story of Karen McDougal. A representative for the company did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case, the Cohen recording or whether it held any discussion about the transfer of the rights to Trump.

Trump suggested Wednesday that the tape cuts off when he was "presumably saying positive things" and that other clients and reporters were taped by Cohen.

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