CNN has obtained a copy of one of the secret recordings between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the then candidate discussing how they would buy the rights to the story of former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, who has alleged she had an affair with Trump.
CNN reports: “The audio recording of Trump and Cohen relates to whether Trump should buy the rights of the story from American Media, which paid McDougal $150,000 in August 2016 for her story about an alleged 10 month affair with Trump. The story was never published by AMI. An attorney for AMI declined to comment Tuesday night. A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is investigating Cohen, declined to comment. In addition to discussing the McDougal payment, Trump and Cohen are overheard running through a list of potential legal issues, including contesting a New York Times request to unseal divorce records from Trump’s first wife Ivana as well as more mundane matters such as polling numbers and Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns.”
Cohen has now turned on Trump, CNN adds: ‘[Newly hired Michael Cohen lawyer Lanny] Davis, in an interview with Cuomo following the playing of the tape, made very clear that Cohen had now broken free of his oft-pledged total loyalty to Trump and was now looking out for himself and his own interests. “What is this about,” Davis asked rhetorically. “This is about honesty versus false disparagement of Michael Cohen. Why is (Trump lawyer Rudy) Giuliani out falsely disparaging Michael Cohen — because they fear him.” Davis isn’t wrong. And the release of the tape suggests that we have now entered a new phase in the ongoing drama surrounding Cohen and Trump — one in which the man who once pledged he would take a bullet for his boss has now turned on him amid the possibility of major criminal charges following the raid of Cohen’s hotel, house and office by the FBI in April.‘