Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump reacts to Cohen tape: "Your favorite president did nothing wrong!"

Trump reacts to Cohen tape:

Trump was responding to the revelation that former attorney Michael Cohen, weeks before the 2016 election, secretly recorded their discussion of a potential payment for a former Playboy model's account of having an affair with Trump.

The conversation reportedly happened in September 2016, just two months before the November election.

On his Twitter handle, Trump wrote; "Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of".

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

The government did not break into Cohen's office.

Cohen's attorneys are said to have discovered the recording while going through a trove of seized documents and records as part of a privilege review.

Trump had initially said publicly that he believed his longtime fixer would remain loyal to him, but Cohen has increasingly suggested he's preparing to cooperate with the feds as he grows more and more isolated from his former boss. A federal special master in New York City has already prohibited prosecutors from accessing over 2,500 documents seized from Cohen because they are privileged, upholding almost two-thirds of the privilege assertions Cohen's defense team has made. New York, where the taping reportedly took place, legally requires only one person's consent for such a recording. The special master, Barbara Jones, has found the vast majority of the items reviewed to be not privileged, according to court filings, indicating that very little of what Cohen did in recent years qualified as legal work.

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

According to the New York Times, "Ms. McDougal sold her story to The National Enquirer for $150,000 during the final months of the presidential campaign, but the tabloid sat on the story, which kept it from becoming public".

But the outlet never published the piece. Federal investigators had sought documents related to that payment and similar payments to other women in the raids. David Pecker, the chairman of parent company American Media Inc (AMI), is Trump's friend.

Giuliani also told the Times that Trump insisted the payment, should it occur, be a check - not cash - so that a paper trail would exist.

Trump's current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said the payment was never made and the tape shows Trump did nothing wrong.

"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", Giuliani said.

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