Giuliani slams 'outrageous' Cohen-Trump tape leak, claims recording ends at key point

Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Trump, told Fox News on Tuesday that it is 'outrageous' that an audio conversation between Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen was leaked to the media and questioned why the recording ended at a key part in the conversation.

Giuliani told Laura Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle,” that he found out the tape was leaked at 6 p.m. Tuesday. He said Trump's legal team listened numerous times to the tape and determined that the then-candidate told Cohen, “Don’t pay with cash.”

“Cohen then interrupts,” Giuliani said. “And says, “No, no, no, I got it.’ And then you hear — distinctly … if you’re careful and you slow (the tape) it down — ‘check.’ And then Cohen follows with ‘No, no, no,’ and then quickly cuts off the tape.”

Giuliani admitted that the audio was muffled, but said the rest of the recording -- had it not stopped -- would have been “exculpatory,” from the point of view from the president.

The former prosecutor said he spent about 4,000 hours listening to legal recordings in his career and he is confident that if the public listens to the tape three times, "it will become clear."

CNN on Tuesday played the secretly recorded audiotape from two months before the 2016 presidential election. The tape was provided to CNN by Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis.

Davis, 72, was a special counsel to President Bill Clinton and regularly appeared on television to defend the Democrat during his 1998 impeachment.

Davis said he will not give another original copy to any other network. He gave one copy to CNN, to defend his client, whom he said was “falsely accused.”

“The president does bring up cash, but he said, ‘Don’t pay with cash.’”

— Rudy Giuliani

The conversation between Trump and Cohen came weeks after the National Enquirer's parent company reached a $150,000 deal to pay former Playboy model Karen McDougal for her story of a 2006 affair, which it never published, a tabloid practice known as "catch and kill."

Trump denies the affair ever happened and his campaign had said he knew nothing about the payment.

Trump and Cohen appear to be discussing buying the rights to McDougal's story from the Enquirer's parent company.

Cohen can be heard on the tape saying that he needed to start a company "for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," a possible reference to David Pecker, Trump's friend and president of the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc.

When Cohen begins to discuss financing, Trump interrupts him and asks, "What financing?"

"We'll have to pay," Cohen responded.

The audio is muffled, but Trump appears to say, "pay with cash," though it isn't clear if he is suggesting to pay with cash or not to pay with cash.

“The president does bring up cash,” Giuliani said. “But he said, ‘Don’t pay with cash.’”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, posted on Twitter that the Cohen tape shows that Giuliani was "untruthful" when he said Trump didn't know about the payments. He said the move was "campaign motivated" and "regardless of cash or check, whole point of phony corp. was to hide campaign expenditure."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.