WASHINGTON – Shortly before Election Day, when the Wall Street Journal discovered a secret deal by the National Enquirer to buy the silence of a former Playboy model that said it was having an affair with Donald J. Trump, his campaign was flatly rejected  "We do not know about it," Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the newspaper. She said the allegation of an affair was "completely wrong."
When the New York Times revealed last week the existence of a recorded conversation about the payment Mr. Trump did not want to know about, Mr. Trump's lawyer Rudolph W Giuliani said the recording was "exonerating" ̵
The band has finally become public. And it revealed the statements of Mrs. Hicks and Mr. Giuliani as false. The recording, aired by CNN late Tuesday night, shows that Mr. Trump was directly involved in conversations about whether to pay the Enquirer for the rights to the woman's story.
The recording and the repeated statements contradict her. is a powerful example of how Mr. Trump and his helpers have used falsehoods as a shield against hard questions and unflattering stories. He relied on his repeated call for "false news" and told the supporters this week that they should not believe the news. "What you see and what you read is not what happens," the president added.
In a capital where politicians have made an art form of nondenial denial, press secretaries typically reserve their on-site records of denials for stories that are completely false. Candidates can endure the most embarrassing stories, and press officers know it's only worse to get involved in a lie.
But Mr. Trump, both as a candidate and as a president, has turned this thinking on its head. Given the evidence for the false information, the government goes back and goes on. "I will not get into a backlash," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last month, when she was confronted with her unequivocal and false claim that Mr. Trump had dictated his son's misleading statement Meeting with Russians
The tape that appeared on Tuesday involved former model Karen McDougal, who said she began a nearly one-year affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. Shortly before the 2016 election, she sold her story to The National Enquirer for $ 150,000. But the tabloid Mr. Trump supported sat on the story, a practice known as catching and killing. She silenced Ms. McDougal for the remainder of the campaign.
The legal implications of recorded entertainment for Mr. Trump are unclear. Manhattan prosecutors are investigating whether Mr. Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, has committed bank fraud or violated campaign funding laws by arranging payments to reassure women who criticize Trump.
The inclusion may be significant to Ms. McDougal as part of the presidential campaign. Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen talk about questioning, surrogates, journalists, and finally embarrassing business. However, it is not clear if this creates legal problems for Mr Trump.
The record was made by 12 prosecutors from a treasure trove of Mr. Cohen's material, the F.B.I. Agents seized in April. It is the only record of the substance between Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump, for persons who are familiar with the material. The others also say that Mr. Cohen speaks to the media according to the people.
In the record, Mr. Trump does not appear to be surprised at the agreement with the parent company of Enquirer, American Media Inc., to agree with "our friend David," a nod to the company's executive director, David Pecker.
The tape emerged as part of a growing gap between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, his once-trusted advisor. Mr. Cohen has tendered his willingness to cooperate with prosecutors an agreement that could bring to light many of the secrets he had buried in a decade of work as Mr. Trump's fixator. Such cooperation did not materialize, and the prosecutor usually does not make such arrangements until they have reviewed the evidence gathered.
The volume also shows how closely the Trump organization was involved in politics and how much they care about the protection of Mr. Trump's image. Mr. Cohen may be heard telling Mr. Trump that he has consulted with the company's chief financial officer, Allen Weissselberg, "when it is time to finance payments to the parent company of the Enquirer."
What funding? Mr. Trump says, "Well, I have to pay him something," says Mr. Cohen Weisselberg was also involved in the structuring of Mr. Cohen's reimbursements of more than $ 400,000 after being divorced from the These reimbursements to Mr. Cohen are said to have contained money he spent to silence an adult movie actress named Stephanie Clifford, who is known by the stage name Stormy Daniels, and also claimed a previous affair with Mr. Trump
When the record surfaced, Mr. Trump's attorneys drafted a report and distributed it to the reporters, in their version Mr. Trump told Mr. Cohen "Do not pay in cash" and then say "Check."
Mr. Cohen's lawyers argued that Mr. Trump's team had established a dialogue to make it cheaper for their customer. "They got away To say that a lie is the truth and do not believe the media, "said Lanny J. Davis, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen. "But they ran into a trap here because a band is a band, it's a fact, if you're for Donald Trump, do not believe me, I'm a Democrat, believe your own ears."
Repeated Film screenings do not clearly show that Mr. Trump said the words "do not pay with," an omission that would completely change the meaning of his commentary. This creates a gap – between what can be heard on the tape and what Mr. Trump's aides say can be heard on the tape.