The Issue Raised By Cohen’s Trump Tape

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Collins said she told them she was being banned because "you don't like the questions I asked", and they responded that her network wasn't banned, "but you are not invited to the Rose Garden today".

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, later disclosed the president reimbursed Cohen through a monthly retainer, but had not learned of the deal with the porn actress until later. "So sad!. Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things?"

Did Trump say "Pay in cash" or did he say "Don't pay in cash"?

During Mr Cohen's years, the Trump Organisation sought opportunities in some colourful locales.

By burying Ms. McDougal's story during the campaign in a practice known in the tabloid industry as "catch and kill", A.M.I. protected Mr. Trump from negative publicity that could have harmed his election chances, spending money to do so.

American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, purchased the rights to McDougal's story for $150,000 but never published the story.

Without any claim to attorney-client privilege, investigators - including those working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation - would have free reign to examine a slew of documents and tapes about Trump and Cohen's business dealings.

Trump can then be heard saying the word "cash" but because of the muddled audio, it is unclear what precedes it.

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Common Cause says the tape bolstered their argument that Trump knew about the payment and that it was potentially illegal.

Just days ahead of the presidential election, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks told the Wall Street Journal on its report of the $150,000 USA payment to McDougal: "We have no knowledge of any of this".

Karen McDougal, the model, alleges she began a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is on the record saying that it was Cohen who suggested paying off alleged former mistress Karen McDougal with cash - ostensibly to avoid a paper trail - but the tape clearly indictates it was Trump's idea, one that Cohen nixed immediately.

"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance", said Giuliani, adding that Trump had previously told Cohen that if he were to make a payment related to the woman, to write a check instead of sending cash so that the transaction could be properly documented.

But things changed after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his office and home in April. Court filings say 12 audio recordings were passed on to federal prosecutors after lawyers dropped any claims of attorney-client privilege.

"No, no", Cohen says.

Michael D'Antonio is author of the book "Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success" (St. Martin's Press).

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