The nearly three-minute audio recording was provided to CNN by Lanny Davis, a lawyer who is representing Michael Cohen.
Donald Trump appears to have been caught on tape during the presidential campaign discussing the logistics of making payments aimed at keeping quiet allegations by a former Playboy model that she had an affair with Trump, according to an audio tape released by an attorney representing Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer.
The nearly three-minute audio recording was provided to CNN by Lanny Davis, a lawyer who is representing Cohen. The audio is choppy and difficult to hear at times, and several key sections are open to interpretation.
But it appears to show Cohen talking to Trump about plans to buy the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story by setting up a company and transferring money to American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer. McDougal has alleged that she had a 10-month affair with Trump, beginning in 2006 and ending in 2007.
If accurate, the audio confirms that Trump knew about the possibility of payments during the presidential campaign. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current lawyer, has denied that any payments were made by Trump.
“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen at one point tells Trump on the tape, a likely reference to David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media.
Cohen adds that he’s spoken to Allen Weisselberg, a Trump Organization executive, about how to set up the company.
Later in the conversation, when Cohen mentions “financing” and that he has to “pay him something,” Trump, for a moment seems confused. “Wait a sec, what financing?” Trump asks. “Well, I’ll have to pay him something,” Cohen responds.