Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer again demands release of Cohen’s alleged Trump tapes following NYT report

Giuliani also said that no campaign funding was involved in the discussion between Trump and Cohen, who has distanced himself from Trump as the FBI investigates business dealings undertaken by the president's former lawyer.

Cohen secretly recorded a conversation he had with Mr. Trump shortly before the 2016 presidential election in which they discussed a possible payment to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006.

Trump tweeted Saturday morning: "The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!".

In May, President Trump admitted that he had reimbursed Mr Cohen for a payment he made to another woman to hush up her claims of an affair.

According to the Times, the FBI seized the recording in April when they raided Cohen's office and hotel rooms as part of an investigation into whether Cohen violated campaign finance laws, among other potential criminal acts. It is ironic that Trump would complain about a privileged tape that would not have been released and then chooses to make it public himself.

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In an interview with The Times, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed Trump discussed the payments with Cohen on the tape, but he asserted that Trump did not engage in any wrongdoing. Over the years, Cohen, in his dealings on Trump's behalf with journalists, opposing lawyers and business adversaries, frequently taped his conversations, unbeknown to the people with whom he was speaking.

But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence".

When The Wall Street Journal reported on AMI's payments to McDougal days before the election, the Trump campaign denied knowing about them. In New York state, it is legal to record a conversation if one party consents.

"The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: If it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check" to keep a proper record of it, Giuliani said.

Trump had apparently been unaware of the recordings until he was told about them earlier this week.

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On Friday, Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said in a statement: "Obviously, there is an ongoing investigation, and we are sensitive to that".

Media captionWas Trump's Stormy Daniels payment legal? At the time, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks called McDougal's claims "totally untrue". "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape".

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. It is the client who owns the privilege and not the lawyer. The National Enquirer, however, did not publish the story.

In August 2016, AMI paid McDougal $150,000 for the right to her story but never published an article based on her account.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. As part of the deal, McDougal signed a nondisclosure agreement that prevented her from revealing the affair.

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