Friday July 20, 2018
The Trump Tapes, Part I
The big story of the day was this one from The New York Times, although its headline was a bit misleading:
At least it misled me. I thought this meant Cohen taped Trump talking to the model. Nope. Cohen taped him and Trump talking about the model. Specifically how to keep her quiet in the months leading up to the election. Money was apparently involved. That's all we know so far.
The Playboy model in question is Karen McDougal who says she had an affair with Trump in 2007 or so. She eventually sold her story to The National Enquirer, but they squelched it. They paid $150k not to run it. As a favor to Trump.
Of course, Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, jumped in today with a topnotch defense:
“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that Mr. Trump had directed Mr. Cohen that if he were to make a payment related to the woman, write a check, rather than sending cash, so it could be properly documented.
“In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence,” Mr. Giuliani.
Right. It's exculpatory because a man running for president directed his lawyer that if they had to pay off a woman who said she'd had an affair with him, probably in violation of election laws, please use one of your own checks.
There's more tapes, btw, and all of this will eventually come out. But the fact that it's taken so long—a year a half into Trump's presidency—even though it's about a president makes me wonder what CEOs and other titans invariably get away with on a daily basis.