Trump’s Reaction to Cohen Tape: ‘Can’t Believe He Would Do This!’

After the New York Times published a blockbuster story on Friday, revealing that Donald Trump’s longtime “fixer” Michael Cohen secretly taped a phone call in which the two discussed hush money payments to former Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Trump reacted with disbelief, according to sources who spoke to CNN.

“When informed about the tape, (Trump) said ‘I can’t believe Michael would do this with me, according to a source familiar with the tapes,” wrote CNN National Editor Keith Allen on his Twitter account Friday.

CNBC later reported on sources who say Trump was “unaware” that he was being recorded while talking to Cohen about the McDougal payments.

McDougal says that she had a nearly year-long affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007. Earlier this year she filed a lawsuit to get out of a deal she made with the National Enquirer, in which the tabloid paid her $150,000 for her story, but never published—a technique known in the professional gossip business as “catch and kill.” Enquirer boss David Pecker is a close friend and ardent supporter of Trump.

McDougal settled her lawsuit in April.

On April 9, federal investigators executed search warrants on Cohen’s residences and business, seizing millions of documents. The tape reported in Friday’s New York Times story was seized in those raids.

According to what CNN has learned, however, there are more tapes of Trump and Cohen speaking yet to be revealed from that trove of documents. “‘Definitely all kinds of tapes out there,’ one of the sources said,” reported CNN’s Oliver Darcy

In addition to tapes of Cohen speaking with Trump, the trove of Cohen recordings contains the Trump fixer speaking with “other ‘powerful’ individuals that the FBI seized beyond the President that could be embarrassing for the people on the tape and for Cohen,” CNN reported. The individuals on the tapes with Cohen are figures of “significance and consequence,” CNN reported.

While a source told CNN that nothing on the tape of Cohen discussing McDougal with Trump cold be construed as illegal, the source added that the same might not hold true if tapes surface in the Stormy Daniels case. In that case, Cohen himself transmitted a $130,000 payment of “hush money” to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election, which could constitute a v*******n of federal campaign finance laws.

“I know this is the tip of the iceberg,” Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told CNBC.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Public Domain / Sam Posten III / Wikimedia Commons 

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