According to several news outlets, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney, recorded a conversation he had with the President two months before the 2016 presidential election. In this conversation, then men discussed the possibility of paying Karen McDougal, also known as Stormy Daniels. That recording is now in the hands of the FBI.
In this recording, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and Mr. Cohen discussed the possibility of purchasing the rights to McDougal’s story. Karen McDougal and Donald Trump had previously engaged in an extramarital affair, but she sold her story to the National Enquirer in exchange for $150,000. The recording allegedly includes President Trump’s considering of purchasing the story from the National Enquirer. Some analysts are speculating that this was a way for Donald Trump to pay the company back for what they paid McDougal—this suggests that then-candidate Trump may have been behind the initial sale.
The tape has yet to be released to the public, but news outlets across the ideological spectrum are beginning to speculate on its implications. Federal authorities are also trying to understand the role the National Enquirer played in the alleged coverup.
The recording obtained by federal authorities was less than two minutes long, and it cut off while the conversation was ongoing. President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed the existence of the recording to the Times, but downplayed its importance by commenting about its length and the lack of action that followed. The recordings were among the personal effects of Mr. Cohen seized in an April raid by federal agents. Other seized items included his computer, his phone, and several records. Sources: The Washington Post; The Washington Examiner, New York Times