(From The Guardian)
Donald Trump can be heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how to purchase the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story about her alleged affair with Trump, in a recording obtained by CNN.
The tape, which aired late Tuesday, was released to the network and public for the first time by Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, who argued that its contents proved his client tried to handle the payment legally whereas Trump instead sought to pay in cash.
The conversation took place in September of 2016, two months before the presidential election.
The rights to McDougal’s story were bought for $150,000 by the National Enquirer, which proceeded not to publish her account in a practice known as “catch and kill”. American Media Inc, the tabloid’s parent company, is headed by David Pecker, a close ally and friend of Trump’s.
The existence of the tape first came to light last week as part of the continuing investigation into Cohen’s financial dealings. Cohen, who long worked as Trump’s personal fixer, has increasingly signaled he would cooperate with federal authorities. That could be severely problematic for Trump, given their close association.