Trump responds to Cohen taping: 'Your favourite president did nothing wrong'

Michael Cohen

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

President Donald Trump early Saturday, in an apparent reference to news that his former attorney Michael Cohen had taped a conversation with him concerning payments to a former Playboy model, tweeted that the action was "perhaps illegal", but denied any wrongdoing on his own part.

Despite the President's comment Saturday, he has waived privilege on the recording, said two sources briefed on legal discussions surrounding the materials seized in April.

He added that there was some good news out of the debacle after all, "the good news is that your favourite President did nothing wrong!". His lawyer has said the payment was never made.

Speaking on Friday, Giuliani said the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen's office.

The erstwhile Trump loyalist has hired a new attorney, Clinton White House veteran Lanny Davis, and disassociated himself from the president as both remain under investigation.

The Washington Post reported that Mr Trump and Mr Cohen discussed possibly paying American Media Inc, the parent company of the National Enquirer, for the rights to Ms McDougal's story. The woman has claimed she had an affair with Trump.

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The revelation of the tape comes as Cohen has signalled that he might be willing to cooperate with the federal investigation into his business dealings, a probe that has examined his interactions with AMI and a hush-money payment he arranged with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who also claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.

"The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: If it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check" to keep a proper record of it, Giuliani said.

The recording about the former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, which occurred prior to the election, was among the troves of documents and materials that the FBI seized from Cohen's office, home and hotel in NY back in April amid a criminal investigation of Cohen by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of NY.

The recording was first reported Friday by The New York Times. The Trump administration had previously denied knowing anything about such a payment. "And any attempt to spin can not change what is on the tape". The Playboy model in question is Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump. But the Enquirer did not publish her kiss-and-tell, and she says she was tricked.

"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", he said.

Ms Daniels says she and Mr Trump had sex in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe, a resort area between California and Nevada, in 2006.

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