On Tuesday, a secret audio recording was released of candidate Donald Trump speaking with his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, about payments to Playboy model Karen McDougal, with whom Trump allegedly had an affair. The hush money discussion took place just weeks before the 2016 election.
Now, Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, has told Axios there's "more to come" and that the public will soon know more "about what Michael Cohen saw and heard."
Lanny Davis: "Michael Cohen has made a turn. This is on the record." https://t.co/Fh0CyLfLyV— Justin Miller (@Justin Miller) 1532517152.0
"Michael Cohen has made a turn," Davis told Axios's Justin Miller. "This is on the record — Michael and I talked about it."
Michael is going to tell the truth to the powers that be, and let the chips fall where they may.
In the tape, which was obtained by CNN, Cohen can be heard telling Trump about a shell company he would have to set up in order to buy the rights to McDougal's story from American Media, which owns the National Enquirer.
"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," Cohen told Trump before mentioning "financing."
"What financing?" Trump replied.
"We'll have to pay," Cohen said. Trump can then be heard saying "pay with cash," though it's unclear whether Trump meant to use cash or not pay. Cohen said, "no, no" before the recording cuts off.
Davis told Axios there are more tapes of Cohen and Trump and that Tuesday's release is a signal from Cohen: "I am no longer the previous Michael Cohen that you knew — taking a bullet for Donald Trump, saying anything to defend him, being a good soldier. ... That is over."
"I’m not saying there are more tapes as telling as [this] one," Davis teased, "But there are more tapes. ... There is more to come."
Needless to say, all this has made the president very nervous.
"What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. "So sad!"
What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so a… https://t.co/ypyRQGeh2N— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1532522098.0
Twitter had some answers for the president, namely that a "mob lawyer" is exactly the type who would secretly record privileged conversations with their client.
@realDonaldTrump What kind of lawyer would tape a client? A **MOB** lawyer, who was your personal attorney, that's… https://t.co/ZBU6SMipkq— Dr. Dena Grayson (@Dr. Dena Grayson) 1532523003.0
@realDonaldTrump The kind of lawyer you hired😂😂😂😂😂 #MoronInChief— Lauren McDowell (@Lauren McDowell) 1532523490.0
Others said the Cohen recordings show that even those closest to Trump don't trust him.
@realDonaldTrump What sort of client is so untrustworthy that his lawyer feels need to tape him ??— colin morley (@colin morley) 1532522308.0
@realDonaldTrump The kind of lawyer who knows he's dealing with someone with extremely small hands.— Dave (@Dave) 1532525710.0
@realDonaldTrump You know what kind of clients get recorded? The kind that are pathological liars who say something… https://t.co/aWDeIPSFEW— Comrade Pumpkinhead (@Comrade Pumpkinhead) 1532524403.0
@realDonaldTrump Cohen taped you because he knew that you were a criminal— Andrew U (@Andrew U) 1532526695.0
@realDonaldTrump Maybe his client has a history of lying and manipulating so he wanted proof of what was actually said?— Jon Tronc (@Jon Tronc) 1532524533.0
@realDonaldTrump A lawyer that has you for client. That was like shooting fish in a barrel. Next question, please.— Renée Zuckerbrot (@Renée Zuckerbrot) 1532525248.0
Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, responded on Fox News Tuesday night, saying: "There's no indication of any crime being committed on this tape." He added: "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."
Davis, appearing on Cuomo Prime Time on CNN, told host Chris Cuomo that Cohen is simply defending himself against the president's attacks.
"The only people who use cash are drug dealers and mobsters" Michael Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, tells @ChrisCuomo… https://t.co/MAWqXeMlSO— Cuomo Prime Time (@Cuomo Prime Time) 1532484076.0
"What is this about? This is about honesty versus false disparagement of Michael Cohen," Davis said. "Why is Giuliani out falsely disparaging Michael Cohen -- because they fear him."
What do they fear, Chris? Why am I representing him? They fear that he has the truth about Donald Trump. He will someday speak the truth about Donald Trump. The truth is that when Donald Trump said 'cash,' which Rudy Giuliani knows that only drug dealers and mobsters talk about cash, it was, you heard Michael Cohen ... say what? 'No, no, no, no.'
Davis encouraged supporters of the president to listen to the recording in which Trump can be heard using the word "cash."
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you voted for Donald Trump, listen to the tape and ask yourself: Is Donald Trump lying when he said he didn't use the word 'cash' and accuses Michael Cohen of using the word 'cash'?" Davis said. "Cohen has been disparaged. Cohen has been insulted and called all sorts of things by people around Donald Trump."
The tape's release and Davis's suggestion come hours after Trump told an audience in Missouri: "What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening."