Trump calls Cohen's taping of phone call 'inconceivable,' possibly illegal

"Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

This afternoon news broke that President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, had a secret tape of a conversation between himself and Mr. Trump seized in an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid earlier this year.

Cohen's recording adds to questions about whether Trump tried to quash damaging stories before the election.

Trump's current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had confirmed to the Times that the Cohen tape existed, but said it showed the president had done nothing wrong.

The New York Times first reported that the FBI seized the recording during the raid earlier this year on Cohen's office as part of an investigation into the former Trump lawyer's payments to women to shut down stories about his client leading up to the 2016 election - a practice known as "catch-and-kill".

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr 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 Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

The recording was part of a large collection of documents and electronic records seized by federal authorities from the longtime Trump fixer earlier this year.

Late on Sunday night NZ time, Trump took to Twitter, saying "that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of".

But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence". McDougal has said she had an affair with the president.

Mr Cohen once famously vowed he would take a bullet for Mr Trump, but he told ABC News this month that his loyalty to his family and country came before his old boss.

"The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: If it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check" to keep a proper record of it, Giuliani said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2016 that McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media Inc. - the parent company to the National Enquirer - for the rights to the story, but it never ran.

In her lawsuit against AMI, McDougal said she was happy when AMI bought her story in August 2016 but did not publish it, because she was not anxious for publicity before the campaign.

Following this news, further details have emerged from both CNN and from Micheal Avenatti, related to these revelations.

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