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Trump responds to release of tape discussing payments with Cohen

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Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen.
Jeenah
Moon/Reuters


  • President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday
    morning to criticize his former attorney Michael Cohen for
    taping their conversations after Cohen’s attorney publicly
    released the tape on Tuesday night.
  • Cohen’s attorney released the audio of a secretly
    recorded, 2016 conversation between Cohen and Trump, during
    which the two men discussed payments to a former Playboy model
    who claimed she had a sexual relationship with Trump years
    earlier.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to
criticize his former attorney Michael Cohen for taping their
conversations after Cohen’s attorney publicly released a tape on
Tuesday night.

“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?”, Trump tweeted.
“So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the
tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying
positive things? I hear there are other clients and many
reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”

Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis,
released the audio
of a 2016 conversation between Cohen and
Trump. The two men can be heard discussing numerous issues on the
recording, but eventually they focus on McDougal, who had agreed
to give her story to the National Enquirer in exchange for
$150,000. The publication’s parent company, American Media Inc.,
is led by David Pecker, a friend of Cohen and Trump. The Enquirer
never ran McDougal’s story.

The existence of the audio recording
was first revealed last week
, but the audio
was heard publicly for the first time on CNN
Tuesday night.

After the existence of the tape was revealed, Trump took to
Twitter to respond as well.

“Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s
office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of,” Trump

tweeted
on Saturday. “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer
would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.
The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!”

“So, what do you we got to pay for this, one-fifty,” Trump asks,
according to a transcript of the tape
published by The Washington Post
.

“Funding … Yes. Um, and it’s all the stuff,” Cohen responds.

At one point, Cohen lays out how they should finance the payment,
saying he would set up a company,
now known as Essential Consultants LLC
— to get the deal
done.

Trump then appears to interject. The presidential candidate can
be heard saying “pay with cash,” to which Cohen says, “No, I got
it,” before Trump says, “Check.”

The recording ends abruptly at that point.

Bryan Logan contributed to this post.

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