CNN on Tuesday aired the secret recording of President Donald Trump and former lawyer Michael Cohen discussing arrangements related to the payment to former playmate Karen McDougal.
McDougal alleged she had an extramarital affair with Trump about a decade ago.
"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," Cohen told Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election, likely a reference to American Media CEO and chairman David Pecker.
McDougal was silenced by Pecker, who bought her story for the National Enquirer in a $150,000 deal and never published it — a tabloid practice known as catch and kill.
Trump denies the affair ever happened and his campaign has said he knew nothing about the payment
On the tape, Trump interrupts Cohen, asking, "What financing?"
Cohen tells Trump, "We'll have to pay," and then Trump is heard saying "pay with cash."
But the audio is not clear on whether Trump meant to pay with cash or not pay with cash.
Cohen says, "no, no," but it is unclear what is said next.
Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis provided the recording to CNN.
"Listen to the tapes, this is not a man shocked by payments being made to Karen McDougal," Davis told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "Cuomo Prime Time."
"Cohen has been disparaged, been called all these types of things. . . . He's got truth on his side, and he will continue to tell the truth. This man has come to a moment in his life, this man has turned a corner. He's hit a reset button, and he's dedicated to telling the truth."
Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump Organization, refuted Trump was offering a cash payment.
"Whoever is telling [Cohen counsel Lanny] Davis that cash in that conversation refers to green currency is lying to him," Futerfas told CNN. "There's no transaction done in green currency. It doesn't happen. The whole deal never happened. If it was going to happen, it would be a payment to a large company that would obviously be accompanied by an agreement of sale. Those documents would be prepared by lawyers on both sides."
Cash, in the conversation, was in reference to how a deal would be financed, Futerfas added.
Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer before the president axed him in June, also compared Trump to dealers and mobsters for suggesting the use of cash in the transaction.
"The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters," he said.
Cohen, whose office was raided by the FBI in April, is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for his role in paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the election to keep her quiet about an affair she alleged to have with the then-presidential candidate. Prosecutors are also probing alleged violations of election law and possible financial crimes associated with Cohen's personal business dealings.
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