Trump Slams Cohen Over Secret Taping

'Totally unheard of' and 'perhaps illegal,' president says of recorded conversation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2018 8:31 AM CDT
Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York in this April photo.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(Newser) – If President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen weren't already on the outs, the revelation that Cohen secretly recorded at least one of their phone conversations has cinched it. The president took to Twitter Saturday morning to express his displeasure and to suggest that Cohen might have broken the law. The FBI seized the recording during its raid on Cohen's office earlier this year, but the tape only came to light this week. On Saturday, Trump reiterated he wasn't happy about that April raid, either. "Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of," he wrote. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!"

The tape is of a phone conversation Cohen had with Trump shortly before the election in which they discuss a possible payment regarding former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, who planned to go public with allegations of an affair. Presidential attorney Rudy Guiliani has heard the tape, and he says it is not legally damaging to Trump. Plus, no payment was ever made, he says. Prosecutors have been looking into the McDougal controversy—the National Enquirer, owned by a Trump ally, eventually paid her $150,000 but then killed the story—to see whether any campaign finance laws were violated. Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti tells MSNBC that he knows "for a fact" more Cohen-Trump tapes exist and should be made public, reports the Hill. (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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