American Media, Inc.'s payment effectively silenced McDougal through the election, though days beforehand news of the deal emerged in The Wall Street Journal. Russian operatives' knowledge of Trump's sex life, of a list of accusers and of payoffs, would be powerful leverage for Moscow. McDougal sold her story as an exclusive to the National Enquirer in August 2016 for $150,000, though the tabloid never published her story - effectively buying her silence about her alleged affair with Trump. Davis isn't wrong. And the release of the tape suggests that we have now entered a new phase in the ongoing drama surrounding Cohen and Trump - one in which the man who once pledged he would take a bullet for his boss has now turned on him amid the possibility of major criminal charges following the raid of Cohen's hotel, house and office by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in April.
Trump can be heard asking, "What financing?" to which Cohen responds by saying, "We'll have to pay". There may or may not have been the Steele dossier's alleged tape of Trump in Moscow with prostitutes, but there is certainly reason to believe that there was enough evidence of Trump's poor personal conduct to fill a whole file cabinet in some Russian intelligence agency's office.
Aired on Cuomo Prime Time, it seems like all the internet could focus on was a demand by Trump to an aide to "get me a Coke, please", before discussing how they would buy the rights to McDougal's story.
"The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters", Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said on CNN. David Pecker is the head of AMI. In any case, using a corporation to disguise the payment (and apparently considering a payment of cash) suggests a deliberate effort to hide what would have amounted to a campaign expenditure, one that Trump certainly did not report. The tape was provided to CNN by Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis. In New York state it is legal to record a conversation if one party consents.
White Helmet rescue workers still trapped in Syria
The Israeli military said it will continue to aid those in need but won't allow a massive influx of refugees into the country. Meanwhile, Israel said it fired a pair of missiles to intercept two missiles fired from Syria in Israel's direction.
They also spoke about election issues such as polling numbers and Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns. However, the new audio recording makes that claim suspicious.
Either way, the move has incited a harsh war of words between Davis and Giuliani, and is the final sign that Cohen has flipped on the man he used to say he would take a bullet for.
The discussion of any payment could support claims by Trump's critics, including groups like the watchdog group Common Cause, that a payment benefited his presidential campaign and the failure to document it was potentially illegal.