The existence of the audio recording was first reported by the New York Times, which said Trump and Cohen discussed a potential payment to McDougal. "The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!".
Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed to The Post that the recording existed but declined to discuss details and said a payment was never made. The Department of Justice raided Cohen's "residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit boxes and two cell phones" back in April and found, among other things, incriminating recordings of the President. Staci Bivens has this report.
"When the recording is heard, it will not hurt Michael Cohen". "Second, the tape, as well as a lawyer's notes, are privileged and non-public".
The former Playboy model said that after their first sexual encounter, Trump tried to offer her money.
After The New York Times first revealed the existence of the tape - and Giuliani claimed the tape was exculpatory evidence that did no harm to Trump -- his legal team chose to remove any protection relating to the attorney-client relationship on this specific matter. The raid on Cohen's home office and hotel stemmed from an investigation by NY federal prosecutors for potential violations of banking and election laws. Trump's campaign had said it knew nothing about any payment to ex-centerfold Karen McDougal.
"So not only is suggesting that Cohen committed a crime in recording him, but to accuse his former lawyer, who simply said may have the goods on him of committing the crime is a awful, bad idea", Specter continued.
When The Wall Street Journal reported on AMI's payments to McDougal days before the election, the Trump campaign denied knowing about them. Laws in NY governing the recording of phone conversations do not require two-party consent.
Giuliani said no campaign funding was involved in the discussion between Trump and Cohen, who has distanced himself from Trump in recent months as the FBI investigates Cohen's business dealings.
Cohen, who became Trump's personal lawyer in 2007, paid $130 000 to Daniels - real name, Stephanie Clifford - shortly before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.
"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of [the AMI payment] in advance", Giuliani said.
Laws on taping private conversations differ from state to state, and it is not clear where Cohen recorded Trump. It could also further entangle the president in a criminal investigation that for months has targeted Cohen. McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. "I was attracted to him", McDougal said in the CNN interview.