President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen recorded a conversation in which he and Trump discussed payments to a former Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with Trump,The New York Times reported Friday.
The Times said that the FBI.seized the tape – which had been secretly recorded by Cohen two months before the 2016 presidential election – during an April raid on Cohen’s office.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed in an interview with the paper that Trump discussed the payments with Cohen on the tape, but he said no payment was ever made and Trump did not engage in any wrongdoing.
“Nothing in that conversation suggests he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani said.
The revelation, however, casts a fresh spotlight on efforts before the presidential campaign to put the lid on damaging disclosures about Trump. Prosecutors have been investigating whether Cohen’s actions, including a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, violated campaign-finance laws.
Daniels, who said she had sex with Trump in 2006, received $130,000 from Cohen days before the election in exchange for her silence.
The taped conversation now in the FBI’s possession involves Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump that began in 2006. McDougal received a $150,000 payment in August 2016 from the parent company of the National Enquirer. But the tabloid did not publish the story, keeping it out of public view.
Trump has denied the affairs.