With the investigation into potential campaign finance law violations, Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen leaked the audio of a conversation between him and Trump regarding the payment to a playboy model.
In the audio, Cohen and Trump are heard planning to pay the tabloid magazine The National Enquirer in order for the magazine to obtain the rights to model Karen McDougal’s story of the affair. Cohen is heard discussing opening a business to funnel the payment through to which Trump responds if he should pay in cash. Cohen advises Trump not to pay cash and says he’ll take care of it.
The tape was recorded by Cohen during the 2016 campaign and broadcast by CNN on Tuesday. Trump’s lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dismissed the tape calling it “outrageous.” Giuliani pointed out to Fox News that the snippet of the audio ends at important points.
As of now, there is no evidence the payment was ever made, but previous reports have said that Trump’s intention was to have The National Enquirer CEO, David Pecker, own the rights to the story and then bury it so it would never become public. McDougal’s story was reportedly sold for $150,000 at the time.
Trump has denied having any knowledge about a payment made to both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, but the audio proves otherwise. McDougal also told 60 Minutes back in March that Trump knew and participated in the funneling of hush money for the affair.
McDougal said she regrets accepting the money because of how the National Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, handle the situation. “AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me. I just want the opportunity to set the record straight and move on with my life, free from this company, its executives, and its lawyers,” McDougal told CBS News.