President Trump Blasts Former Attorney Michael Cohen for Secret Recordings

Trump attacks Michael Cohen over 'Playboy model payment tape'

Cohen had taped a conversation two months before the 2016 presidential election with Trump concerning payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with the Republican nominee.

The recording was discovered when the NY offices of lawyer Michael Cohen were raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year following a referral from Robert Mueller.

One in particular features Trump and Cohen discussing an affair that Trump had back in 2006 with ex-playmate Karen McDougal. The recording, which hasn't been made public, was discovered as part of an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid in April on attorney Michael Cohen's home office and hotel in NY, sources told ABC News. Staci Bivens has this report. But they declined to offer a description of their exact view of the conversation beyond saying that Giuliani's more benign descriptions of the tape are contradictory to what actually occurred.

She told CNN previously that he tried to pay her for sex.

Hicks also called McDougal's claim that she had an affair with Trump "totally untrue".

Stephen Gillers, an authority of legal ethics and professor at New York University School of Law, told The American Lawyer in April that such recordings are "an issue on which the national profession has not come to common agreement", but he argued that law firms should forbid the practice except in very narrow circumstances.

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But the recording does show that Trump was considering buying the rights to McDougal's story from AMI - despite the fact that Trump's spokeswoman at the time, Hope Hicks, called McDougal's claims "totally untrue" and said Trump had "no knowledge of any of this".

Trump had initially said publicly that he believed his longtime fixer would remain loyal to him, but Cohen has increasingly suggested he's preparing to cooperate with the feds as he grows more and more isolated from his former boss. The special master in the case against Cohen allowed only a portion of the documents seized to be withheld from investigators under that privilege.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. "But, suffice it so say, that when the recording that has been widely reported is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen". That conversation took place weeks before Trump's November 2016 election.

But in a further twist to the story, Giuliani tells NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell on Saturday that the president has waived attorney-client privilege related to the tape.

In her lawsuit against AMI, McDougal said she was happy when AMI bought her story then did not publish it, because she was not anxious for publicity.

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