Giuliani on Trump-Cohen audio: ‘I’ve dealt with much worse tapes than this’

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President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday downplayed the relevance of the audio released by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s legal team on Tuesday night. 

The audio recording, released to CNN by Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, captures a conversation between President Trump and Cohen about a payment tied to a former Playboy model alleging an affair with Trump. 

In the recording, which took place as Trump was running for president in 2016, Trump and Cohen discuss buying the rights to a story about Karen McDougal. Cohen tells 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. head David Pecker.{mosads}

McDougal sold her story to American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, though the story never ran.

“What financing?” Trump asks later in the recording.

Cohen says, “we’ll have to pay.” Trump replies something along the lines of “pay with cash,” but it’s unclear what he said exactly. Cohen can then be heard replying “no, no, no,” but the audio afterward is also muddled.

Giuliani and Davis have presented contradictory interpretations of the conversation. Davis insists Trump is suggesting they pay for the story with cash. Giuliani said on Tuesday that Trump is saying “don’t pay with cash.” 

“There’s no way the president is going to be talking about setting up a corporation and using cash unless you’re a complete idiot and the president’s not an idiot,” Giuliani said on Fox News.

He said his team obtained the recording over the weekend and played it repeatedly. 

“Look, we’ve been over the tape over the weekend about five times,” he said. “What I urge people to do is go online and listen to your broadcast. Play the tape. Play it three times. The third time you play it, it will become clear.”

“I’ve got 4,000 hours of mafia people on tape,” he added. “I know how to listen to them, I know how to transcribe them. I’ve dealt with much worse tapes than this.”

Giuliani also slammed Cohen for secretly recording conversations with his client, Trump. 

“The major point is, it’s outrageous that someone would tape his client surreptitiously and No. 2, it’s also foolhardy for them to try to yell and scream and make believe what’s on the tape,” Giuliani said.

Davis, who is a columnist for The Hill, on CNN earlier in the night insisted Cohen has the truth on his “side.” 

“Everybody heard just now Donald Trump say the word ‘cash,’ ” Davis said. “After Michael Cohen mentioned financing. The tape contradicts Giuliani.”

“The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters,” he added. 

Both Giuliani and Davis insisted that people listen to the tapes for themselves.

“I agree with you the tape is a little hard to hear but I assure you we listened to it numerous, numerous times and the transcript makes it quite clear at the end that president trump says, ‘Don’t pay with cash,’ ” Giuliani said.

Davis urged listeners to not believe “fake news or fake transcripts.” 

“These are people that scramble the truth up when they’re caught,” Davis said. “Now they’re going to say the tape was made up, it’s all fake news. I’ll tell you, ladies and gentlemen, what is not fake: your own ears, common sense.” 

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