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.”
Full audio: Presidential candidate Trump is heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier, according to the audio recording "https://t.co/YmC0QuDqTxpic.twitter.com/fBbq7r1Lq9
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 25, 2018
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.
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.