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LISTEN: Trump-Cohen Tape Plotting McDougal Hush Money Payment

The plan was to pay through a shell corporation. There is a mysterious "David" who is likely one of two people. And more. Listen for yourself and see.
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CNN was given the audio recording of Donald Trump discussing how they'd handle a money transfer to pay off the National Enquirer for buying Karen McDougal's story and killing it in September 2016.

Just ahead of the discussion about the payment, there was what sounds like Trump on the phone, complaining about "what they're saying," and that it's "such bullshit."

And then they start talking about setting up a company and how they're going to finance things and set everything up for their friend "David," who might be David Pecker, head of AMI/National Enquirer or David Dennison, Trump's favorite pseudonym.

I would like to know what Trump means when he says "Maybe he gets hit by a truck." I'm curious about Mark Burns and Darrell Scott, but the gist of this conversation is that Cohen is getting approval to set up a shell corporation and secure financing for their "friend David."

Alan Weiselberg is a long-time Trump executive.

I have questions.

  1. What is exculpatory about this, as Rudy claimed?
  2. What was that reference to Weiselberg getting run over by a truck?
  3. Who was putting up the money?
  4. What other shell corporations did Trump set up and for what purpose?

Here is the transcript. It begins with Trump, and I've tried to break the lines for the back and forth. But listen, because transcriptions are imperfect and lack nuance.

TRUMP: Let me know what's happening, okay? Oh. Oh. Maybe because of this, it would be better if you didn't go, you know? Maybe because of this, for that one -- you know -- get rid of this because it's so false what they're saying. It's such bullshit. Um -- I think -- I think this goes away quickly. I think what -- I think it's probably better do the Charleston thing just this time. Yeah. In two weeks, it's fine. I think right now it's better, you know? Okay, honey. You take care of yourself. Thanks. Yep. I'm proud of you. So long. Bye.

TRUMP: What's up, Mike?

COHEN: Great poll by the way.


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TRUMP: Making progress.

COHEN: Big time.

And your guy's a good guy.

TRUMP: Pastor Scott?

COHEN: I can't believe. No.

TRUMP: Oh, no. Can we use him anymore?

COHEN: Oh, yeah. No, you're talking Mark Burns. We told him to -- I don't mean that.

TRUMP: Mark Burns, can we use him?

COHEN: No.

TRUMP: Richard just called. He said he had an idea for you.

COHEN: So we got served from "The New York Times." I told you this regarding to unseal the divorce papers with Ivana. We're fighting it. Kasowitz is going to --

TRUMP: They should never be able to get that.

COHEN: Never. They don't have a -- They don't have a legitimate purpose.

TRUMP: A woman that doesn't want --

COHEN: Correct.

TRUMP: You've been handling it. That's been going on for a while.

COHEN: About two, three weeks.

TRUMP: All you have to do is delay it --

COHEN: Even after that, it's not going to be opened. There's no purpose for it. I told you about Charleston. I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of regarding our friend David, you know, so that I'm going to do that right away.

TRUMP: Give it to me.

COHEN: I've spoken to Alan Weiselberg about how to set the whole thing up with --

TRUMP: So what are we going to pay --?

COHEN: Yes. And it's all the stuff, all the stuff because you never know where that company -- you never know where he's going to be.

TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.

COHEN: Correct. I'm all over that. I spoke to Alan about it. When it comes time for the financing, which will be --

TRUMP: What financing?

COHEN: We'll have to pay --

TRUMP: Not pay with cash?

COHEN: No, no, no. I got -- no, no, no.

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