Trump finds it ‘inconceivable’ lawyer would tape a client

Trump and Cohen discussed the possible payment after AMI bought the rights to McDougal's story for $150,000 in August 2016

The FBI obtained a warrant to raid his properties in April as part of a federal criminal investigation into whether Cohen committed wire fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations while working for Trump. He added that Trump's "tweet is straightforward and correct".

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", he posted at 8:10 am.

In Trump's first direct reaction to a report broken by the New York Times a day earlier, he added in a Twitter post: "The good news is that your favourite President did nothing wrong!" "Very foolish strategy by team Trump".

Legal experts told Business Insider that they found it freaky that Cohen felt the need to record a conversation with Trump, and some said they had never heard of an attorney secretly recording a client. "It was already out there, so no point in objecting except on principle", said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney.

Giuliani said no campaign funding was involved in the discussion between Trump and Cohen, who has distanced himself from Trump in recent months as the FBI investigates Cohen's business dealings.

On Saturday, Trump appeared to slam both the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid and Cohen's behavior as "inconceivable". NY law disagrees, allowing one party to a conversation to tape it without the other knowing.

"It's pretty clear from the tape, it's the first time Trump is finding out".

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal claims she had a months-long affair with Trump after they met in 2006, shortly after Trump's wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

Giuliani said the conversation involved reimbursing the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid for McDougal's story rights.

Michael Cohen recorded the conversation with Trump which was seized by federal agents
SETH WENIG AP Michael Cohen recorded the conversation with Trump which was seized by federal agents

David Pecker, the CEO and chairman of the National Enquirer's publisher American Media Inc, is a Trump supporter who has reportedly described the president as a "personal friend".

McDougal is alleging a yearlong extramarital affair with Trump in 2006. The president's current personal lawyer confirmed the conversation and said it showed Trump did nothing wrong, according to the Times.

"Nothing in that conversation suggests he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani said.

Davis, in his Saturday tweet, took a specific poke at Giuliani: "Rudy claims the tape is "exculpatory".

Lanny Davis, one of Cohen's lawyers, claimed in a written statement late Friday that the contents of the recording would not be damaging for his client.

"We have no knowledge of any of this", she said. "And any attempt to spin can not change what is on the tape".

Trump had initially said publicly that he believed his longtime fixer would remain loyal to him, but Cohen has increasingly suggested he's preparing to cooperate with the feds as he grows more and more isolated from his former boss.

The matter is a potential problem for Mr Trump because undisclosed payments to bury embarrassing stories about a political candidate can be treated as a violation of USA campaign finance laws.

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