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Transcript of Cohen tape suggests Trump knew about model’s deal to sell story of alleged affair (Washington Post link): Donald Trump appeared familiar with a deal that a Playboy model made to sell the rights to her story of an alleged affair with him when Trump discussed the matter in September 2016 with his attorney Michael Cohen, according to a transcript of their conversation.
The transcript, which was provided by President Trump’s legal team, shows that the then-GOP presidential nominee does not register confusion or surprise when Cohen refers to a plan to purchase the rights to model Karen McDougal’s story from American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer.
AMI, whose chief executive is David Pecker, had signed a $150,000 deal with McDougal in August 2016 for her story, but never published it.
“Um, I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen says, according to the transcript.
“So what do you got to pay for this . . . one-fifty . . .” Trump says.
“Yes,” Cohen replies. “Um, and it’s all the stuff.”
On Tuesday night, Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani disputed the idea that the recording shows that Trump knew about the McDougal deal.
“It doesn’t,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That’s open to interpretation, and we can have a fight about that.”
“To me it sounds like Cohen is explaining something to [Trump] that he doesn’t understand,” Giuliani said, adding: “He doesn’t seem that familiar with anything. There is nothing to indicate he knew anything in advance.”
The president’s legal team released the transcript after one of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, provided CNN with the audio of the tape — marking dramatic escalation of rhetoric and turn against Trump by the Cohen camp.
Davis told The Post that Cohen, who is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud and election law violations, decided to release the tape “following extensive discussions” with his lawyers about the timing and consequence of doing so.”
The Cohen team was pushed to act by statements Giuliani had made about Cohen’s role in the conversation, Davis said.
“It became necessary to rebut false statements,” he said. “We were not going to let Michael become a punching bag.”
When asked whether the Cohen team would release more recordings of Trump in the coming weeks, David said he would not comment, but acknowledged, “There are a lot of other tapes.”
Trump’s legal team does not believe that he was captured saying anything of substance on any other recording made by Cohen, according to people familiar with the material.
The Wall Street Journal first reported four days before the November 2016 election that McDougal had been paid by the National Enquirer. At the time, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks called McDougal’s claims “totally untrue.”
“We have no knowledge of any of this,” she said.
The revelation of the existence of the recording last week showed for the first time that Trump knew of her claims and efforts to keep her quiet at least two months earlier.
Mod: The rest of the article is available at the link.