By Ryan Teague Beckwith
July 20, 2018

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer secretly recorded a conversation with him discussing a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to a report in the New York Times.

The article cites lawyers and others who are familiar with the recording saying that it was seized by the FBI during a raid on Michael Cohen’s office earlier this year and includes Trump discussing payments to McDougal.

Current Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani confirmed the existence of the tape to the Times but said that it exonerates Trump because nothing in it suggests that Trump knew about the payment in advance and the payment was never made.

McDougal says she had a nearly yearlong affair with Trump in 2006. She sold the rights to her story for $150,000 to the National Enquirer, which is run by Trump ally David Pecker. She then spoke out shortly before the election when the tabloid did not run the story.

In April, McDougal settled a lawsuit against American Media Inc., owners of the Enquirer, which allowed her to keep the money and now speak publicly about the affair.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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