We didn’t have to wait long to hear what was on at least one of the tapes that was secretly recorded by President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who has turned on his long-time boss in recent weeks. The tape, on which the pair discuss buying rights to a former Playboy model’s story about her alleged affair with Trump, was aired on Chris Cuomo’s CNN’s show Cuomo Prime Time.
CNN summarizes the tape’s contents:
“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 a reference to American Media head David Pecker.
Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay.” Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no” but it is not clear what is said next.
Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis went on Chis Cuomo’s show to discuss the tape, which he seems to believe bodes well for his client.
Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, released an alternate transcription of the tape, in which Trump says that they should not pay by cash, but by check. In his statement to CNN, Giuliani says, “Cohen is talking about buying the rights from AMI... they’re talking about a corporation doing it, one of their corporations doing it... President says ‘Make sure it’s done correctly, and make sure it’s done by check.’”
There’s a lot going on here, and it’s hard to tell how this will play out before more of the tapes are released, but the whole thing feels incredibly slimy.