On Tuesday night, CNN released the infamous tape documenting the exchange between then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen over making payments to cover up Trump’s alleged affair with a Playboy model.

Michael Cohen’s Tape Released

The model, Karen McDougal, had originally sold her story to The National Enquirer back in 2016. The newspaper then chose to sit on the story since David Pecker, the chairman of the Enquirer’s parent company, is close friends with Trump. In September of 2016, Trump then discussed potentially buying the rights to the story as a matter of precaution given the upcoming election. 

Throughout the conversation, the overall tone suggests the matter is simply business as usual for the Trump.


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“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” started Cohen, with reference to Pecker. This strategy is not new for Cohen, who previously opened a shell company to pay $130,000 in hush money to former porn star Stephanie Clifford, widely known as Stormy Daniels, to cover up her alleged affair with Trump leading up to the election. 


On the matter of financing, Cohen told Trump “we’ll have to pay,” to which the president is heard saying “pay with cash.” Cohen then hurriedly responds “no, no, no.” Since the tape’s release, however, some claim Trump’s cash statement is unclear given the poor quality of the recording.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed that the president actually said “Don’t pay in cash.” He later explained to Fox News, “There’s no way the President is going to be setting up a corporation and then using cash, unless you’re a complete idiot.”

Giuliani also claimed that despite public outcry, “There’s no indication of any crime being committed on this tape.” He stated that Trump couldn’t be held accountable because he supposedly didn’t understand what was being discussed at the time.

The president has since attempted to redirect national attention away from the content of the conversation and onto the fact that Cohen recorded it.

Check out the full recording below, courtesy of CNN:

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