"Illegal": Trump After Reports That Lawyer Taped Conversation With Model

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Trump is responding to the revelation that attorney Michael Cohen made a secret recording of their discussion about a potential payment for a former Playboy model's account of having an affair with Trump.

The recording was part of the documents and electronic records seized by authorities from the longtime Trump fixer earlier this year.

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

He added that a lawyer secretly recording a client was "totally unheard of and perhaps illegal". He tweeted: "The good news is that your favourite President did nothing wrong!". That conversation took place weeks before Trump's November 2016 election.

Citing a person familiar with the recording, The Washington Post reported Friday that in it, Cohen and Trump discussed a plan to purchase the rights to McDougal's story from Pecker's company for about $150,000.

But the recording does show that Trump was considering buying the rights to McDougal's story from AMI - despite the fact that Trump's spokeswoman at the time, Hope Hicks, called McDougal's claims "totally untrue" and said Trump had "no knowledge of any of this".

The story was never published.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

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McDougal said she sold her story for $1,50,000 (Rs 1.03 crore) to The National Enquirer, a tabloid published by the American Media Inc and supportive of Trump, during the final months of the presidential campaign. "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape".

In a statement Friday (Saturday NZT), President Trump's attorney Rudolph Giuliani confirmed the tape's existence and said no payment was ever made.

Donald Trump with former Playboy model Karen McDougal in a photo that she posted in 2015.

Before the election, the Trump campaign denied any knowledge of payment to McDougal, but the taped conversation could undermine those denials.

McDougal is one of two adult stars who have said they were silenced during the campaign about the alleged affairs they had with Trump.

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

McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. They shared the recording with Trump's lawyers as well, The New York Times reported, citing three people briefed on the matter.

It is a potential problem for Mr Trump because undisclosed payments to bury embarrassing stories about a political candidate can be treated as a violation of USA campaign finance laws.