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Cohen taped Trump discussing payment to former Playboy model

Cohen taped Trump discussing payment to former Playboy model

Cohen taped Trump discussing payment to former Playboy model
July 21
02:54 2018

The FBI holds a recording that shows US President Donald Trump and his lawyer discussed paying hush money to a former Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Trump.

Trump’s longstanding personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, taped the two-minute conversation held two months before the 2016 election, but the FBI seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen’s office, The New York Times reported on Friday.

In addition, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani hired by Trump as a personal lawyer confirmed that there was such a recording and that it contains Trump discussing payments to Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his youngest son.

Giuliani claimed the payments were never made, saying, “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance.” Also, representatives for Trump have denied the affair.

However, McDougal eventually received payment through American Media Inc., although she later sued for the rights to tell her story and settled with the company earlier this year.

This combination of file pictures created on July 20, 2018 shows (L-R) US President Donald Trump on July 18, 2018, in Washington, DC, and Playboy model Karen McDougal on February 6, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by AFP)

“My goal from the beginning was to restore my rights and not to achieve any financial gain, and this settlement does exactly that,” she said. “I am relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked, and I look forward to being able to return to my private life and focus on what matters to me.”

Also, the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to McDougal to buy her story as the presidential campaign entered its final months, but it then failed to publish it.

If proven to be accurate, the recording directly contradicts statements made by Trump in which he claimed to be unaware of any payments to women during the election.

The recording may prove that Trump willfully violated campaign finance laws in an apparent effort to silence a woman who claimed she had a nearly yearlong affair with him.

“We have nothing to say on this matter,” Lanny J Davis, a lawyer for Mr Cohen, told the Times.

The documents seized by the FBI in April also show that Cohen made a $130,000 payment in 2016 to porn-star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about allegations that she had a sexual encounter with Trump.

So far, at least 16 women have accused Trump of unwanted sexual advances, allegations Trump dismisses.

Weeks before the presidential election last November, The Washington Post released a tape in which Trump boasted about how he sexually assaulted women because he was powerful.

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