New York (AFP) - President Donald Trump lashed out at his longtime personal lawyer Wednesday after CNN aired a tape in which the pair discussed how to hush up allegations that he had an affair with a Playboy model.
"What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?" Trump tweeted.
"Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped - can this be so? Too bad!"
On the tape released Tuesday by CNN, Trump can be heard discussing with New York fixer Michael Cohen how to buy the rights to the story of a Playboy model, who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006.
Cohen, who no longer works for the US president, is under federal investigation in New York for his business dealings and reportedly whether hush payments violated campaign finance laws.
The release of the tape, which was first reported by The New York Times last week, has fanned speculation about how much damage Cohen can inflict on the president.
It comes after an interview released earlier this month saw Cohen apparently signal potential willingness to cooperate with prosecutors against his former boss.
The tape involves Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had a months-long fling with Trump after they met in 2006. That was shortly after now First Lady Melania gave birth to their son, Barron.
On the tape, Trump and Cohen talk about buying the rights to McDougal's story, which she had sold a month earlier to the National Enquirer for $150,000. The tabloid never published the story.
During the campaign, the Trump team denied any knowledge of the deal between McDougal and American Media, the magazine's parent company.
But on the tape, candidate Trump expresses no surprise when the issue comes up and Cohen talks about essentially reimbursing the company for what it paid McDougal.