The New York Times had reported Friday that Cohen taped a conversation he had with Trump, then the GOP presidential nominee, in 2016 about paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she had a yearlong affair with Trump starting in 2006 after he married now-first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump, Pence offer condolences to families of Missouri boat tour victims Avenatti says Cohen's Trump recording "is not the only tape" NYT: Cohen taped Trump on payment to ex-Playboy model MORE.
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday denied any wrongdoing a day after reports that his onetime attorney had recorded them both discussing buying the rights to a story by a woman who said she had an affair with Trump.
He added that a lawyer secretly recording a client was "totally unheard of and perhaps illegal". He said Trump did not know he was being recorded and claimed that the president had done nothing wrong. CNN's Keith Allen has also just reported that Trump's reaction when he was informed that at least one tape was in the FBI's possession, was, "I can't believe Michael would do this with me". (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer.
Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed to the newspaper that the recording existed but declined to discuss details and said a payment was never made.
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The administration has also imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian oligarchs and government officials. Last Monday's Helsinki summit between the pair of world leaders was met with large media attention.
In the 90-second conversation, Cohen can be heard urging Trump to consider buying the rights to McDougal's claims to better "control" the story, according to people familiar with the exchange.
Media captionWas Trump's Stormy Daniels payment legal? He said the tape would show that Trump makes clear that if there is going to be a payment, it should be done by check, which would be easily traced.
While, such tapes do not necessarily imply guilt on the part of Cohen or the President, Trump's reaction certainly doesn't sound like something coming from an individual with nothing to worry about. The hush money payment raises serious concerns about potential campaign finance violations, many experts have said.
Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.
The New York Times first reported the existence of the recording. Cohen has not been charged with a crime.