Trump tweets reaction to news of Michael Cohen secret recording

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

He tweeted: "Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of".

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

"The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!". The Justice Department is investigating Cohen's involvement in paying women in order to hide stories about Trump before the 2016 Presidential election.

According to the Times, in the tape, Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen discuss payments to Karen McDougal.

In the conversation, Cohen and Trump discussed purchasing the rights to McDougal's story from American Media Inc., since the company, which publishes the National Enquirer, had already bought the rights to her story, according to sources familiar with the audio recording.

The revelation of the tape comes as Cohen has signalled that he might be willing to cooperate with the federal investigation into his business dealings, a probe that has examined his interactions with AMI and a hush-money payment he arranged with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who also claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.

The New Yorker magazine reported in February that Trump had an affair with McDougal at the same time he had a relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels and that the National Enquirer prevented McDougal's story being made public.

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape".

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Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed to The Times that Trump discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen, but he said that ultimately no payment was made.

NY is a "one-party consent" state, meaning that in general, it is legal to record a conversation as long as at least one party agrees, even if that person is the one doing the recording.

But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence".

However, the recording shows that Trump - whose spokeswoman denied he had any knowledge of the AMI deal with McDougal when it became public days before the election - in fact knew of her claims and efforts to keep her quiet at least two months earlier.

When informed about the tape, the president said "I can't believe Michael would do this with me", according to a source familiar with the tapes.

Giuliani had earlier denied Trump had an affair with McDougal. The chairman of its parent company, American Media, is a friend of Trump.

McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006.

Michael Cohen recorded the conversation with Trump, which was seized by federal agents.

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