Donald Trump and Michael Cohen caught discussing Karen McDougal payment on tape

A tape of President Donald Trump and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen discussing a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Trump, aired on CNN Tuesday night.

Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis appeared on CNN with Chris Cuomo to discuss the tape, recorded in September 2016. Davis claims Trump wanted to use cash to pay for McDougal’s story. Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor now part of the president’s legal team, told CNN that Trump said he did not want to pay with cash. 

“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 referring to American Media head David Pecker, who bought McDougal’s story. 

Cohen and Trump then discuss financing to set up the company to pay for McDougal’s story, and the audio recording becomes less clear. 

Trump can be heard asking “What financing?” followed by the phrase “pay with cash.” The recording is not high-quality, and it is unclear what Trump says before “pay with cash.” 

McDougal filed a lawsuit in March asking to be freed from a legal agreement she entered with AMI for the exclusive rights to her claims that she had a 2006 affair with Trump. The former Playboy model was unaware that Pecker had a relationship with Trump when she sold her story to AMI’s National Enquirer, which never ran the article. The practice of obtaining exclusive rights to tabloid stories without intent to publish is referred to as a “catch and kill.”

The recording that aired on CNN Tuesday seemingly refers to repaying Pecker for McDougal’s story through a company, though the recording is sometimes hard to understand.

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Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal
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Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal
SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 30: Playmates Katie Lohmann (top) and Karen McDougal attend the 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble championship finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club on March 30, 2007 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble Championship Finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, California, United States. (Photo by Enos Solomon/FilmMagic)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 30: Playmate Karen McDougal attends the 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble championship finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club on March 30, 2007 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble Championship Finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, California, United States. (Photo by Enos Solomon/FilmMagic)
382949 09: Playboy playmate Karen McDougal strikes a pose as a pinup girl similiar to a watercolor painting by Alberto Vargas December 7, 2000 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner announced the sale of four rare Alberto Vargas watercolors to be sold on the new Playboy Auctions web site. Vargas'' classic watercolors of pinup girls appeared in Playboy magazine in the 1960''s. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Newsmakers)
Karen McDougal during Movieline's Hollywood Life 7th Annual Young Hollywood Awards - Arrivals at Music Box at The Fonda in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Hugh Hefner, George Maloof, Christine Santiago, Karen McDougal, Julie Cialini (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
382949 04: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, center, poses with playmates, left to right, Carrie Stevens, Kalin Olson, Karen McDougal and Deanna Brooks dressed as pinup girls December 7, 2000 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. Hefner announced the sale of four rare Alberto Vargas watercolors to be sold on the new Playboy Auctions web site. Vargas'' classic watercolors of pinup girls appeared in Playboy magazine in the 1960''s. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Newsmakers)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Actress Karen McDougal arrives at the launch party to celebrate Diane von Furstenberg's limited edition designer mobile phone at Astra West in the Pacific Design Center on October 15, 2004 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Cherie Steinberg/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Karen McDougal, Playboy Playmate of the Year 1998 attend Playboy's Super Saturday Night Party presented by Bacardi at Sagamore Hotel on February 6, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Bacardi)
5/28/98 Beverly Hills, Ca Hugh Hefner and Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal at the Playboy Mansion.
Newly named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses with her new Shelby series Mustang which she received May 28 at ceremonies held at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Ca.The Indiana native will be featured in the July issue of the magazine.
Newly-named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses with Playboy magazine founder and editor in chief Hugh Hefner May 28 at ceremonies held at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Ca.The Indiana native will be featured in the July issue of the magazine. SSM/RC
7-10-98 Los Angeles, Ca Playboy Launches Search For Playmates For The Mellennium. Lead Singer Of 'Janes Addiction' Perry Farrell With Stacy Sanches And Karen Mcdougal. (Photo By John Chapple/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during Miramax Films, Archie Comics and Kitson Launch New Apparel Line Featuring 'Betty & Veronica' at Kitson Retail Store in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Playboy Playmates Karen McDougal and Carrie Stevens *exclusive* ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)
Karen McDougal (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
It’s been almost a year since I shot the #Muscle&FitnessHers #cover. It’s a painful memory for me tho..it was 2 weeks before my #life-saving #surgery ...I was terribly sick (I hadn’t worked out in months...and I was bed ridden at the time. Minus the couple of “good days” I had per month. Thank GOD I had a “good day” that day. Even then ...I felt dizzy and awful..but I was at least able to function!! I longed for those days!!) So...my throw back Tuesday is to #HEALTH ...without it, we truly have NOTHING! #breastimplantillness #BII #implants = #explant 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼 @muscleandfitnesshers Here’s to Shawn ...who passed away (he helped make the shoot as comfortable as possible for me)..R.I.P. photographer Dustin Snipes. HA/MA @kimberly_a_carlson. Spring 2017 issue
I just got cleared to start training again ....upper body up to 5 lbs (I know...so light, lol. But after a year off, I’ll take t)! 🙌🏼. The #DVT’s are gone but I still have superficial blood clots so I Ha e to go slow/take it easy. Finally off the #Bloodthinner ! #THANKSTOGOD! 🙏🏼. #healing completely! #TIMETOGETITBACK! Slow...but steady!!
Before my “checkup” yesterday!! 🙌🏼
#TBT ~ #fit #fitness #model #fitfam #healthy #inspiration #swimsuit #workingout (#crawlingonmachines) #heels #beach #health @kimberly_a_carlson Hair/makeup !!
#Christmas pasts.... #lingerie #photo #shoot #Holiday #fun!
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#TBT ..#ironmanmagazine #shoot #workout #weights #fitness #fitnessmodel #model #fitfam #fitgirl #fit #health
" ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL " ?!?!! #NFL #football #footballseason #gameday #NY #Giants #Gmen 🏈🏈🏈
#TBT....my #SignaturePose ! #Splits #workout #fitness #model #health #fitfam #gym #girl #fitnessmotivation #fitspiration #fitgirl #fitnessmodel
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Cohen’s recording was seized during an FBI raid of the lawyer’s New York office earlier this year. The agency has been investigating Cohen for a payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who also claimed to have had an affair with the president in 2006 and was paid for her silence during the presidential campaign. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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