President Donald Trump and his lawyers are pushing back against Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, for recording and leaking a, edited, private conversation intended to make the president look bad.
On Wednesday, the president took to twitter to slam his former lawyer —
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2018
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The tape captures the soon-to-be elected president and his lawyer discussing logistics of financing and whether to “pay with cash,” although the sound is muffled and Trump’s instructions on that are unclear.
The tape was provided to CNN on Tuesday by Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, and signals a new level of open hostility between the president and the man who once described himself as Trump’s “fixer.”
Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani pushed back against critics of the tape, saying Trump said “don’t pay with cash,” which he says shows Trump was not trying to hide the potential payment.
Giuliani also explained that the tape was cut short and the rest of the recording would have been “exculpatory from the point of view of the president.”
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While speaking with The Associated Press, Giuliani explained that he’s had an expert enhance the recording and the president says “don’t pay with cash.”
“It clearly indicates that the president did not want to pay with cash. Suggesting otherwise is ridiculous and is inconsistent with the rest of the conversation, during which it was discussed doing it through a corporation,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani said Cohen, as Trump’s lawyer, thought it would be best if he could buy the rights to former Playboy Playmate Kate McDougal’s story and the recording captures the two of them discussing it.
“Cohen says I have to pay him. The president brings up cash and says don’t pay with cash and says ‘check,’ He wants it memorialized,” Giuliani said. “Cohen then says ‘No, no, no, no’ and he cuts off the tape. He obviously cuts it off in mid-sentence and that in itself is suspicious.”
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Giuliani said he didn’t know why the payment was never made, but he did make one thing clear, “There’s no indication of any crime being committed on this tape.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.