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Cohen secretly recorded conversation with CNN anchor

Cohen secretly recorded conversation with CNN anchor”

On the tape, Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing payments to AMI Chairman David Pecker, a friend of Trump's. "Um", he says, "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David". Trump then asks Cohen, "What financing?" Cohen is under criminal investigation by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan for his personal financial dealings, including the payment he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels on Trump's behalf before the election, though he has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

The audio is muffled, but can be heard saying to "pay with cash" and Cohen immediately says, "no, no".

Cohen, the reporter said, has dubbed the tactic the "D" strategy - discredit, distance and deflect.

There's plenty of speculation about whether the release of the tape signals Michael Cohen's intention to "turn" on Trump, but there's been no indication from Cohen (yet) that he plans to do so.

"The transcript that we provided CNN accurately reflects the taped conversation", Giuliani told The Associated Press. But it would be a harder case to make if the payment was seen as merely created to protect Trump, who is married, from embarrassment in his personal or private life. The president also questioned the abrupt ending of the recording, suggesting the tape was cut off before the president started talking about positive things.

What Trump says next is not clear, but it ends with the phrase "with cash". "The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters", he added.

Trump denies the affair.

"There's no transaction done in green currency".

Throughout the interview, Davis painted Cohen as a victim of attacks by Trump, Giuliani and their allies.

"He's now dedicated to telling the truth to everyone, and we'll have to see what happens", Davis said.

He noted that Cohen, however, could have a "serious problem" if he was behind the leak. The company paid McDougal for her story about her rumored affair with the president but never published it, effectively gagging McDougal. "Which is not only a major scandal, but a felony campaign finance violation". That may explain why prosecutors did not follow typical Justice Department protocol to avoid subpoenaing news organizations when possible, and to give journalists advance warning when demanding documents or other information.

The tape was released by Cohen's new attorney, longtime Democratic consultant Lanny Davis, who defended Bill Clinton during his impeachment.

"What kind of lawyer would tape a client?"

"Your favorite President did nothing wrong!".

In New York state it is legal to record a conversation if one party consents. CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman joined CBSN with more on the legal ramifications the president could face after the recording's release. McDougal sued over the agreement and the parties settled earlier this year. At the time, a Trump spokeswoman said his campaign had "no knowledge of any of this".



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