Cohen Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Hush Money for Karen McDougal

Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, “secretly recorded a conversation” with Trump in which the pair “discussed payments” to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with the president, according to The New York Times. The FBI obtained the recording, which was made two months before the 2016 election, during a raid on Cohen’s office. The raid was part of a Justice Department investigation into whether Cohen broke campaign finance laws to “tamp down embarrassing news stories” about Trump. White House attorney Rudy Giuliani told the newspaper that Trump “discussed the payments” with Cohen, but “the payment was ultimately never made.” He described the recording as less than two minutes long. “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Giuliani told the Times. McDougal claims that she sold her story for $150,000 to The National Enquirer—which then refused to publish it, thereby ensuring that it would never be brought to light. This is from Rabbit Hole, a members-only breaking news analysis that goes deep on the story that everyone is obsessing over. Sign up for Beast Inside to get it every week.