Questions about the Trump campaign's dealings are swirling again after a tape of a private discussion between President Trump and his former personal lawyer was released Tuesday night. An audio recording obtained by CNN shows the president and Michael Cohen talking about buying the rights to a story about Playboy model Karen McDougal's alleged affair with Trump. Since the new tape shows that Trump knew about McDougal's story, the tape of Trump and Cohen raises additional questions about whether or not the president's allies broke campaign finance law.
McDougal alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which Trump has denied. The model sold the rights to her story to American Media Inc. (AMI), which owns The National Enquirer, in 2016, but the tabloid never published her story.
Now, the audio recording that Cohen's lawyer gave to CNN shows Trump and his former lawyer talking about setting up a company in order to transfer money and buy the rights to McDougal's story. "We'll have to pay," Cohen says in the recording. But while Trump's response includes the phrase "pay with cash," it's unclear whether he says they should or shouldn't pay for the rights to McDougal's story with cash.
Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told The New York Times that no payment was made. Legal experts tell Bustle the $150,000 payment McDougal received from AMI in August 2016 may have broken campaign finance regulations regardless of who actually paid it, though.