Cohen secretly recorded conversation with CNN anchor

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The Michael Cohen tape, aired by CNN's Chris Cuomo, has very much put in play who said what to whom about a possible payoff to a former Playboy model and Rudy Giuliani's previous claim that the tape would vindicate the president.

Moreover, Cohen has only worked for Trump since 2006, and he never operated as a traditional lawyer.

There is Karen McDougal, who has been in the news a lot lately after an audio recording was released in which Trump and attorney Michael Cohen discuss a plan to buy back a story that American Media Inc. had purchased from McDougal and then buried.

At the start of the audio, the president appears to be talking to someone other than Cohen whom he calls "hon" and references a "Charleston thing", concluding, "I'm proud of you".

It comes after an interview released earlier this month saw Cohen apparently signal potential willingness to cooperate with prosecutors against his former boss.

Mr Trump and Michael Cohen discuss buying the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal's story. That was shortly after now First Lady Melania gave birth to their son, Barron.

By burying Ms. McDougal's story during the campaign in a practice known in the tabloid industry as "catch and kill", A.M.I. protected Mr. Trump from negative publicity that could have harmed his election chances, spending money to do so.

Cohen is likely referring to David Pecker, head of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer.

But on the tape, candidate Trump expresses no surprise when the issue comes up and Cohen talks about essentially reimbursing the company for what it paid McDougal.

Mr Giuliani told Associated Press news agency that he had had the tape enhanced and it clearly shows the president saying "don't pay with cash".

The payment was never made and Mr Giuliani said he didn't know why that was the case and hadn't discussed it with Mr Trump.

Trump is legally bound to disclose campaign donations and expenditures, and the payments, which Trump denies happening, allegedly made to McDougal and Daniels went unreported by both Cohen and Trump. "Made from the best stuff on Earth!" says the parodied version of Trump on the tape.

The Trump team is reportedly contemplating whether to ask a court to rule on Cohen's "indiscriminate release of material", in the Post's words. When Cohen says, "Well, I have to pay -", Trump interrupts and says, "Pay with cash".

The recording of Cuomo was among them, the Journal reported, adding Cohen recorded his conversations with multiple reporters.

His comments stoked speculation that he might co-operate with investigators against Mr Trump, although there has been no confirmation so far that he has done so. Cohen has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

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