President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning fired back at his former personal attorney Michael Cohen after the release of a recording Cohen secretly made of a conversation between the two men.
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
The President tweeted: “What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”
Trump’s outburst comes after the lawyer for Cohen said the audio recording, given to CNN, proves that his client tried to handle payment legally while Trump wanted to pay in cash.
According to the muddled audio recording of the conversation aired exclusively on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time”, Cohen can be heard telling Trump about his plans to set up a company and finance the purchase of the rights from American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, which had spent $150,000 for the Playboy model’s story.
Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, argued that the contents of the audio recording proved his client tried to handle the payment legally whereas Trump instead sought to pay in cash.
Rudy Giuliani, the President’s attorney, however countered that no payment was ever made from Trump and that the recorded discussion related to the buying the story rights. Giuliani later added that there was no indication of any crime being committed on the tape.
On July 21 Trump declared, “Your favorite President did nothing wrong!” His tweet came as news emerged that his former personal attorney had secretly recorded a phone conversation in which they discussed hush payments to Stormy Daniels. Daniels is a onetime Playboy model who alleged that she had an affair with Trump years ago. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen has already admitted to paying the former adult movie star.
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
Trump in deriding the investigation and his former lawyer said in the tweet: “Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of,” the president tweeted. “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
As of April 2018, Cohen is under investigation by federal prosecutors on multiple matters, including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, related in part to payments made in the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal.
The conversation in the tape took place in September 2016, two months before the presidential election.
Daniels (aka Karen McDougal) has claimed that she started an affair with Trump in 2006, just after his wife, Melania, became pregnant with their son, Barron. Daniels sold her story to The National Enquirer for $150,000, but the tabloid, which was friendly to Trump during his campaign, held back the story in a “catch and kill” move that silenced her and her claims.
The Washington Post said lawyers found the recording during a review of the evidence seized in the raid and shared it with lawyers for Trump. The Justice Department, as part of its investigation into Cohen, is working to determine if he was involved in paying off women making claims about Trump, and whether that violated any campaign finance laws.