A New York Times article revealed on Friday that president Trump's longtime fixer and friend who maintained an office in Trump Tower located close to the now president, lawyer Michael D. Cohen, recorded a conversation with the presidential candidate two months before the presidential election. The conversation is communication about a second payment to insure McDougal's silence after an initial arrangement with The National Inquirer.
The recording, seized during a raid on Mr. Cohen's office by the FBI several months ago, is potential evidence in a Justice Department investigation about Cohen's involvement in paying women to kill or tamp down breaking news stories that could embarrass the presidential candidate in the days before the election.
To recap, the former model Karen McDougal claims that she was involved in a nearly year-long affair with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his son Barron with First Lady Melania Trump. McDougal sold her story to The National Enquirer in the tumultuous days before the 2016 presidential election, but it was never published.
McDougal's claim came in an avalanche of media stories around Trump's affairs with multiple women and after the release of the now infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about being able to grab any woman he wanted by the p###y.
David J Pecker, the chairman of The Inquirer's parent company and a longtime, very close friend of Trump's is believed to have employed a practice known as "catch and kill", whereby a story is paid for with no intention of ever publishing it. This allegation and similar ones with other women are under investigation by the FBI.
The Wall Street Journal first revealed the allegations by McDougal against the current President on Nov. 4, 2016. The story was batted down by then Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who said "We have no knowledge of any of this," claiming that the claim of an affair was "totally untrue."