"The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!". White House officials accused Mr Coats of "going rogue", undermining the president, and even laughing at him in public.
"First, a lawyer taping a client is not illegal", said the source, adding that NY law only requires one party to consent for a recording.
Sources familiar with the matter tell CBS News the recording was initially protected by attorney-client privilege.
NY law allows one party to a conversation to tape it without the other knowing. The special master in the case against Cohen allowed only a portion of the documents seized to be withheld from investigators under that privilege.
Davis, in his Saturday tweet, took a specific poke at Giuliani: "Rudy claims the tape is "exculpatory". Cohen proposed paying about $150,000 to AMI, the sources said, and on tape Trump can be heard telling Cohen to make sure the payment is properly documented in order to keep a record of it.
But Trump went on to turn against his longtime personal lawyer after a New York Times report found that Cohen had secretly recorded conversations with Trump about buying the rights to a former Playboy model's story alleging she had an affair with Trump in an effort to silence her. His lawyer has said the payment was never made. The AMI payment to McDougal could have constituted an illegal campaign contribution.
When asked about Davis' tweet, Giuliani told CNN, "How would you feel if your lawyer was recording you without telling you?"
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The newspaper, citing lawyers and others familiar with the recording, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen's office. The conversation on the tape occurred in September of 2016, when Trump was still running for office.
Trump has denied the affair.
A representative for McDougal has not responded to requests for comment.
But the outlet never published the piece. The chairman of its parent company, American Media, is a friend of Trump.
Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed to The Times that Trump discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen, but he said that ultimately no payment was made.
Under U.S. election law, presidential candidates must disclose campaign contributions, which are defined as things of value given to a campaign in order to influence an election.
Stephen Gillers, an authority of legal ethics and professor at New York University School of Law, told The American Lawyer in April that such recordings are "an issue on which the national profession has not come to common agreement", but he argued that law firms should forbid the practice except in very narrow circumstances.