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"It was already out there, so no point in objecting except on principle", said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney.

Trump complained on Saturday via Twitter that an attorney recording a client conversation is "inconceivable," but NY law requires only one party to consent to any recordings of a conversation.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

US President Donald Trump yesterday vented about a secret recording taped by his former attorney and seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling both actions "inconceivable" and maintaining that he did nothing wrong. A source with knowledge of Cohen's legal team, however, said it was a "very foolish strategy by Team Trump".

Put differently, as Common Cause's Paul S. Ryan told me via email, "If the earlier reporting that AMI consulted with Cohen (an "agent" of candidate Trump) before making the payment to McDougal is correct, then AMI's payment to McDougal was a political expenditure "coordinated" with Trump".

President Trump on Saturday described former lawyer Michael Cohen's taping of a private conversation between them as "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal", but he reassured supporters that he has done nothing wrong. He said the conversation does not pose any legal jeopardy for the president.

He said it was likely leaked as a message from Cohen - "a final shot across the bow at Donald Trump to send a message that time is running out and if Donald Trump does not bring Michael Cohen into the tent or try to protect him, serious consequences are going to result".

The development was first reported Friday by The New York Times. But suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen.

"Nothing in that conversation suggests he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani said.

Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox spoke with Maddow last night and reported that, per one source, the Cohen tape was considered privileged by the special master, but "the President's attorneys waived the privilege".

Daniels and McDougal allege they had affairs with Trump around the same time, in 2006.

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape".

McDougal has said she began a almost year-long affair with Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth.

There is mush we do not know about this incident: Did AMI eventually make a payment at Trump's behest?

But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence".

The Wall Street Journal said the September 2016 conversation between Trump and Cohen was about buying the rights to McDougal's story, which she sold a month earlier to The National Enquirer for Dollars 150,000.

She told CNN previously that he tried to pay her for sex. Over the years, Cohen, in his dealings on Trump's behalf with journalists, opposing lawyers and business adversaries, frequently taped his conversations, unbeknown to the people with whom he was speaking. It could also further entangle the president in a criminal investigation that for months has targeted Cohen. Giuliani says what's important is Trump said that if it were made it should be properly documented.


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