One day after Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis leaked to CNN the secretly recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen, in which they discuss purchasing the rights to a Playboy model’s claim that she and Trump had an affair, the president has replied on Twitter in a response that can best be summarized as “stunned” at the actions of his former lawyer and fixer, who is now set to flip against his former boss.
“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?” Trump asked, lamenting that this is “So sad!” The president asked “Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
As a reminder, in the recorded conversation, Cohen can be heard telling Trump that he needs “to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” likely referring to American Media Inc. head David Pecker.
“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.
Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay.”Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no, no” but it is not clear what is said next.
CNN airs audio from the Michael Cohen/Trump tape where they discuss paying off Karen McDougal pic.twitter.com/gRZXUE2cMF
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 25, 2018
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, contested Davis’s interpretation and released the Trump team’s version of the transcript, which contradicts Davis. While Davis said Trump was suggesting the two pay cash, Giuliani’s version of the transcript says Trump is saying, “Don’t pay with cash…check.”
Speaking on CNN after the tape’s release, Lanny Davis appeared amused when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo read him Giuliani’s version of the transcript.
“Everybody heard just now Donald trump say the word ‘cash,'” Davis said. “After Michael Cohen mentioned financing. When Mr. Giuliani … accused my client, Mr. Cohen, of saying the word ‘cash,’ I said, ‘Wait for the tapes.'”
“The tape contradicts Giuliani,” Davis continued. “The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters,” he added.
Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, denied that the audio proved that Trump was offering to pay in cash.
“Whoever is telling Davis that cash in that conversation refers to green currency is lying to him,” Futerfas told CNN.
“There’s no transaction done in green currency. It doesn’t happen. The whole deal never happened. If it was going to happen, it would be a payment to a large company that would obviously be accompanied by an agreement of sale. Those documents would be prepared by lawyers on both sides.”
Throughout the interview, Davis painted Cohen as a victim of attacks by Trump, Giuliani and their allies. He said Cohen is ready to “turn a new corner” and tell the truth about what transpired between himself and the president.
We now await for Cohen to release even more surprises in the coming days.
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