Rudy Giuliani was busy defending the president on Tuesday night, after CNN aired a recording that Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, secretly made of himself talking to Trump in 2016.
In the recording, Cohen and Trump seem to be discussing plans to pay off a former Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal, who Trump had an affair with. You can listen to the tape here
The tape raises a few big questions: how involved was Trump in plans to pay off McDougal? Was Trump scheming to cover up the payments, by handing out a cash payment that couldn’t be traced? Or was he planning to go above-board and pay by check?
Giuliani declined to be interviewed on Chris Cuomo’s Cuomo Prime Time, the CNN program which aired the tape. But afterwards, Giuliani spoke to Fox’s Laura Ingraham and to Bob Costa of the Washington Post.
Here’s what you need to know.
Giuliani Says Trump Might Not Have Understood What The Payoff Deal Was All About
Pundits have been saying that the Cohen-Trump tape proves that Trump knew all about the plan to pay off McDougal. But Giuliani disagrees. Instead, Giuliani says the tape seems to show that Trump was unclear about the whole process, since Cohen had to explain it to him step by step.
He told Washington Post reporter Bob Costa, “That’s open to interpretation and we can have a fight about that. To me it sounds like Cohen is explaining something to [Trump] that he doesn’t understand.”
Giuliani Said the Recording Is “Crystal Clear” And Proves That Trump Did Not Want to Pay Off McDougal With Cash
Giuliani said that he and the rest of the Trump team spent the weekend listening to the Cohen-Trump recording to get themselves ready for its release. The tape is a little fuzzy and it can be tricky understanding exactly what Cohen and Trump are saying. So Giuliani recommends listeining to it a few times. “Play it three times. The third time you listen to it it will become clear…This tape is crystal clear when you listen to it,’ Giuliani says.
And, according to Giuliani, the recording clearly shows that the president did not want to pay off McDougal with cash. Here’s Giuliani’s run-down: “Trump says “don’t pay with cash.” Cohen then interrupts and says, “no no no, I got it” and then you hear distinctly, if you’re careful and you slow it down, “check,” and then Cohen follows with “no no no” and then cuts off the tape.”
Giuliani adds that Trump would have to be “an idiot” to suggest paying McDougal with cash — and Trump’s not an idiot, Giuliani adds.
Giulini Says the President is Not Angry about the Recording, Just “Disappointed”
Giuliani told Bob Costa that he’s already spoken to Trump about the CNN piece. So how did the president respond? “He’s disappointed,” Giuliani told Costa.
Angry? Costa asked. “Bob, I didn’t say angry, I said he is disappointed. He’s disappointed his own lawyer recorded him. Discouraged.”
Costa asked Giulini whether Trump plans to speak out about CNN airing the tapes. Giuliani said, “he has Twitter.”
So far, Trump hasn’t tweeted anything about the show.
“There Are No More Tapes,” Giuliani Told Laura Ingraham
Press reports had indicated that there are more Trump-Cohen recordings that will come out soon. Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said there are 12 tapes at least. But Giuliani told Laura Ingraham, “there are no other tapes. We have all the tapes.”