The recently released tape recording of a conversation between President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen was tampered with, claimed the president’s current lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In an interview with Fox News Saturday evening, Giuliani said Cohen and his lawyer Lanny Davis released a modified version of the tape, pointing to the fact that the audio on the tape becomes garbled at one point and it is hard to hear what exactly the president is saying.
Tampered tapes? President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani says expert analysis shows ‘someone messed’ with Cohen tapes pic.twitter.com/Mf2h3YZWz8
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“We have determined the fact that he tampered with the tape in the sense he abruptly mid-conversation turned it off,” Giuliani told Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro. Giuliani said the president’s team is working to get the “original” tape.
Giuliani questioned Cohen’s integrity during the Fox News interview, saying he had “always thought of Michael Cohen as a responsible guy, a guy who was basically honest and certainly who was extremely loyal to the president as the president was to him for many, many years,” but that his view of Cohen has dimmed recently.
“I used to hear rumors about him about his character and some of the things he did and now I find he does things like records his client and doesn’t even tell him,” Giuliani said.
The taped conversation, which was first obtained by The New York Times last week, reportedly includes Trump and Cohen talking about organizing a payment to the National Enquirer to buy the rights to the story that a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, tells of her affair with Trump. The conversation occurred just weeks before the 2016 election.
Exclusive: CNN obtains secret Trump-Cohen tape
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On the tape, Trump asks Cohen, “What financing?” and Cohen responds, “We’ll have to pay.”
Trump replies, “Pay with cash?”
It is there that the tape becomes difficult to hear, as Cohen says, “No, no no, no, no. I got [inaudible]. No, no no.” Trump says the word “check” and then the tape ends.
“What we are investigating is how did that happen?” Giuliani said Saturday night. “What actually did happen? What was eliminated? And then you raise that question with every one of these tapes. How many of them did he play around with?”
After the tape’s contents were initially reported, Giuliani argued that Trump saying “Pay in cash?” was not, in fact, Trump suggesting they pay for the rights to the story in cash.
“There’s no way the president is going to be talking about setting up a corporation and using cash unless you’re a complete idiot and the president’s not an idiot,” Giuliani said on Fox News in an earlier interview. “I agree with you the tape is a little bit hard to hear. But I assure you that we listened to it numerous, numerous times. And the transcript makes it quite clear in the end that President Trump says ‘don’t pay with cash.'”