The Wall Street Journal: Michael Cohen and Trump discussed buying rights to Playmate’s story in taped conversation

The Wall Street Journal: Michael Cohen and Trump discussed buying rights to Playmate’s story in taped conversation

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in Manhattan earlier this year.

MIchael Cohen taped a conversation in person with Donald Trump in which the two men discussed buying the rights to a former Playboy Playmate’s story that she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

The conversation, between the then-GOP presidential nominee and his longtime personal lawyer, took place in September 2016, the people said. That was a month after American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, bought the life rights to Karen McDougal’s story of the extramarital affair, which she has said began in 2006 and lasted nearly a year, the people said.

In the conversation, Cohen told Trump about the American Media deal and suggested that they consider acquiring the rights to McDougal’s story themselves, the people with knowledge of the matter said. Trump, appearing open to the suggestion, asked how to proceed and whether he should write a check or pay in another manner, they said. It isn’t clear why Cohen and Trump didn’t ultimately acquire the rights from American Media.

The recording of the conversation, reported earlier Friday by The New York Times, was less than two minutes long and cut off before the conversation ended, the people said.

Representatives for Trump have previously denied the alleged affair and any knowledge of American Media’s contract with McDougal.

An expanded version of this story is available at WSJ.com

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