Recording Reveals Trump Discussing Payment for Playboy Model’s Story

(CN) – President Donald Trump was recorded by his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen discussing a cash payment to a former Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with him, according to a recording provided to CNN on Tuesday.

The recording, one of 12 audio files, is part of a trove of documents obtained by federal prosecutors in an April raid on Cohen’s hotel, office and home.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani had previously confirmed the recording referenced former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who accused Trump of silencing an affair she said they had shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron in 2006.

Giuliani said the recording was “powerful exculpatory evidence.”

The recording – recorded in secret by Cohen in 2016 – confirms that then-candidate Trump and Cohen discussed buying the rights to McDougal’s story.

McDougal eventually sold her story to the National Enquirer for $150,000 toward the end of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, but the tabloid never ran it in a practice described as “catch and kill.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, wrote on Twitter that the truth is on Cohen’s side.

Michael Cohen walks down the sidewalk in New York on April 11, 2018. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, told his Twitter followers on July 1 that he sat down for an interview with ABC News and his “silence is broken.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

“Truth is once again on @MichaelCohen212 side,” Davis tweeted. “@POTUS @realDonaldTrump used the word cash, despite @RudyGiuliani falsely accusing Mr. Cohen. Just as Richard Nixon learned, tapes don’t lie!”

Davis provided the copy of the secret recording to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti said on Twitter Tuesday that Cohen should release the rest of any evidence he has on Trump’s dealings.

“Mr. Davis is a good lawyer but his client Mr. Cohen is not innocent nor is he a victim,” Avenatti said. “[Cohen] is a co-conspirator dishonest thug who continues to refuse to come clean & do the right thing. They are playing you & aiming for a pardon. Where is the rest of the evidence & tapes? #Basta”

Cuomo found himself – perhaps unwittingly – on the other end of Cohen’s recording machine earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. In that recording, Cohen told Cuomo he made a payment “on my own” to Daniels.

Cohen supposedly told Cuomo he wasn’t recording their conversation.

Avenatti took to Twitter as usual announcing he’s demanded a copy of the nearly 2-hour recording and wants to “know the full extent of the relationship between Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Cohen.”

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