Having withheld his comments all day Friday to the NYT revelation that his former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded one of their conversations before the 2016 election dicussing a payment over the story of a former Playboy model’s alleged affair with Trump, Trump broke his silence on Saturday morning using his favorite medium.
“Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!” Trump tweeted.
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
Some immediately took the occasion to make the distinction between their “favorite president” and Donald Trump.
I'm very glad that my favorite president did nothing wrong.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is in deep doo-doo. https://t.co/eOgHPtyU0s
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) July 21, 2018
Trump’s comment was in response to the NYT report that Cohen had secretly taped a conversation he had with Trump in 2016 about paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had a year-long affair with Trump starting in 2006 after he married Melania Trump.
Later on Friday, the WaPo detailed that the in the conversation the two discussed whether to purchase the rights to McDougal’s account of her alleged affair.
ALERT READERS: I'm told that @realdonaldtrump and Michael Cohen are on this secret tape recording talking about paying AMI/ National Enquirer publisher —
not Playboy model Karen McDougal. https://t.co/mtabtTsh2z
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) July 20, 2018
The release of the tape has sparked a widespread debate about the sanctity of attorney-client privilege, and its use in “one-party” consent states.
Gonna be HELLA interesting legal argument related to matter involving attorney Michael Cohen’s secretly taping conversations w/client Donald Trump.
Here’s where attorney-client privilege collides violently with NYS being one-party consent state, related to taping communications.
— James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) July 20, 2018
Trump’s latest personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed to The Post that the recording existed but declined to discuss details and said a payment was never made. He also claimed that nothing in the tape shows that Trump “had any knowledge of it in advance.”
“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani told The New York Times of the taped conversation about the payment. “In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” he added.
Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels’s activist lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said Michael Cohen has several audio recordings of President Trump discussing women who have come forward after allegedly having affairs with Trump.
Avenatti told MSNBC on Friday that there are more tapes: “I know for a fact that this is not the only tape,” Avenatti said. “I think this is a very serious matter and I think that any or all audio tapes that Michael Cohen has in his possession relating to this president should be released for the public.”