U.S. President Donald Trump’s attorney is confirming that Trump’s former personal lawyer recorded him discussing a potential payment for an ex-Playboy model who said she had an affair with him.
Trump’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told The Associated Press on Friday that the payment was never made. Giuliani says what’s important is that Trump said that if it were made, it should be by check and properly documented.
A person familiar with the investigation into former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told the AP the FBI has the recording, made by Cohen two months before Trump’s 2016 election. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing inquiry.
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The recording was made weeks after the National Enquirer reached a deal to pay Karen McDougal and keep her story secret. When news of that payment emerged two days before the election, a Trump spokeswoman said his campaign had “no knowledge of any of this.”
Guilini’s comments come just hours after the lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels again demanded the release of the apparent audio recordings, following reports by multiple news agencies of their existence.
The New York Times along with the Associated Press and the Washington Post have all independently confirmed that Cohen secretly recorded the conversation with Trump.
The NYT, citing lawyers and others familiar with the recording, said the FBI seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen’s office.
Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti again demanded the release of the purported tapes on Friday.
“Here is what I said less than two months ago,” Avenatti said on Twitter. “I demanded the release of what I called the #TrumpTapes then, and I am demanding the release of them again now.”
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 20, 2018
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006, when he was married, but Trump has denied it. Days before the 2016 presidential election, she was paid $130,000 to stay silent in a deal handled by Cohen. She is suing to invalidate the nondisclosure agreement.
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Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Trump’s campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.
Giuliani told the Times that the recording was less than two minutes and demonstrated the president had done nothing wrong.
McDougal, the former model, said she began a nearly yearlong affair with Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron, the Times said.
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In April, McDougal settled a lawsuit against the owner of the National Enquirer over an agreement that prohibited her from discussing the alleged relationship with Trump.
In August 2016, the tabloid’s parent company, American Media Inc., paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story about the alleged relationship, but the story never ran.
— with files from Reuters and the Associated Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.