Trump Just Lashed Out at Michael Cohen Over Recording

Are the president and his former confidant on the outs?

President Trump during a cabinet meeting on July 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.Olivier Douliery/CNP via ZUMA

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President Trump lashed out at his longtime attorney and fixer early Saturday morning in response to the news Friday that Michael Cohen had recorded the pair discussing a payment to a playboy model who said she’d had an affair with Trump. Trump’s tweet came from his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, where he is spending the weekend.

The recording took place two months before the 2016 election, but apparently a payment never occurred. The National Enquirer, a publication with close ties to Trump, had already paid the model, Karen McDougal, $150,000 for the rights to her story in order to bury it, a strategy in tabloid journalism known as “catch and kill.” Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed the conversation happened but insisted it would exonerate his client. Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said the recording would “not hurt Mr. Cohen.”

Trump’s tweet initially returns to familiar territory in which the president lashes out at the FBI raid, back in April, when the recording was seized. But then he goes after at Cohen himself, suggesting that recording the conversation may have even been illegal. The spat comes at a time in the investigation when Cohen is reportedly considering cooperating with prosecutors, a move that many believe could prove disastrous for the president. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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