The attorney for President Trump’s former longtime personal attorney has given CNN a copy of a secretly recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen, in which they discuss purchasing the rights to a Playboy model’s claim that she and Trump had an affair.
McDougal, claims to have had a nearly yearlong affair with Trump in 2006, right before Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron. McDougal sold her story to the National Enquirer for $150,000 as the 2016 presidential campaign was in its final months, however the tabloid sat on the story which kept it from becoming public in a practice known as “catch and kill.”
The Enquirer’s chairman, David J. Pecker, is a personal friend of Trump’s, and McDougal has accused Cohen of taking part in the deal.
Cohen told Trump about his plans to set up a company and finance the purchase of the rights from American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer.
“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.
Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay.” Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no” but it is not clear what is said next.
While Trump never paid for the rights, Lanny Davis says that the recording, made in 2016, shows Trump knew about the payment.
Read on ZH