President Donald Trump publicly fired back at his former personal attorney after CNN published a tape of Trump and Michael Cohen discussing arranging a payoff to Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal to keep her quiet about an alleged affair she had with Trump.
The tape, which was recorded by Cohen in September 2016, shows the two men apparently talking about purchasing the rights to McDougal’s story from American Media Inc., the parent company of National Enquirer. CNN obtained the tape from Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis, who contended that the recording indicated that the then-candidate suggested Cohen pay AMI with cash, contradicting the Trump legal team’s description of the conversation.
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
Wednesday morning, after Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani ran to Fox News to downplay the recording while claiming Trump told Cohen “don’t pay in cash,” the president took to Twitter to lash out at Cohen.
“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?” Trump wrote. “So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?”
(The president playing feigning ignorance on lawyers taping conversations is especially galling considering that Trump was mentored by notoriously sleazy attorney Roy Cohn.)
“Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things?” POTUS added. “I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”
Giuliani and Trump’s allies in the media have also pointed out that the tape ends suddenly, with Giuliani claiming that if it went on that what was said after would have been “exculpatory” to the president. Pro-Trump media has also pushed the notion that the tape shows no illegal activity, especially since Trump apparently didn’t pay AMI.