CNN obtained and aired on Tuesday audio of a conversation between President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE and his former lawyer Michael Cohen about a payment to a Playboy model alleging an affair with Trump.
The conversation confirms earlier reports that the men discussed buying the rights to the story of former Playboy model Karen McDougal's alleged affair with Trump. McDougal sold her story to American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer. The discussion took place in September 2016, in the lead-up to the presidential election.
Cohen, who secretly recorded the conversation, can be heard telling Trump that he needs “to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," likely referring to American Media Inc. Chairman David Pecker.
Full audio: Presidential candidate Trump is heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier, according to the audio recording "https://t.co/YmC0QuDqTx pic.twitter.com/fBbq7r1Lq9— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) July 25, 2018
"What financing?" Trump asks later in the conversation, interrupting Cohen.
The lawyer tells the then-candidate, “we’ll have to pay,” and Trump is heard saying “pay with cash," though it's not clear from the muddled sound whether Trump is suggesting paying or not paying.
Other audio in the recording is inaudible.
CNN obtained the audio from Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis. The tape is one of 12 seized in raids on Cohen's office and home earlier this year.
Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had previously confirmed the tape's existence, but said that it would prove to be "powerful exculpatory evidence."
“The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters," Davis said on CNN Tuesday, referring to Trump mentioning cash in the audio. Davis is a columnist for The Hill.
McDougal sued the company over the deal and the parties settled earlier this year, freeing her from the agreement and allowing her to speak publicly about the alleged affair.
The Washington Post reported later Friday that Trump and Cohen had discussed a payment to AMI to buy the rights to McDougal’s story.
Trump's legal team waived privilege on the tapes, meaning they could be used as evidence in potential legal proceedings.