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Trump reacts to Cohen tape: "Your favorite president did nothing wrong!"

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Trump calls Cohen's taping of phone call 'inconceivable,' possibly illegal

But a source told CNN later Friday that the conversation on the tape is "not good for the president".

In the recording, Trump can apparently be heard discussing payments to a former Playboy model. "It was already out there, so no point in objecting except on principle", said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney.

The recording was part of a large collection of documents and electronic records seized by federal authorities from the long-standing associate of Mr Trump earlier this year.

On the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to that contract from AMI, according to Giuliani, who described the contract as a "nondisclosure agreement".

Daniels, the adult-film star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who says she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, was paid $130,000 by Cohen days before the 2016 presidential election. It is unclear why they didn't, The Journal said.

McDougal signed a contract with American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer, which barred her from publicly speaking about the alleged affair before the 2016 election.

The tabloid sat on the story, preventing it from being made public in a practice known as "catch and kill".

McDougal has said she began a almost year-long affair with Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth.

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Daniels and McDougal allege they had affairs with Trump around the same time, in 2006. The President ignored questions shouted at him about the subject, as he left the White House for a weekend at his golf club in New Jersey. "We have no knowledge of any of this", Hope Hicks, the campaign spokeswoman, said at the time, adding that McDougal's claim of an affair was "totally untrue".

"Rudy claims the tape is 'exculpatory, ' " Davis said, referring to Giuliani.

After The New York Times first revealed the existence of the tape - and Giuliani claimed the tape was exculpatory evidence that did no harm to Trump -- his legal team made a decision to remove any protection relating to the attorney-client relationship on this specific matter.

The source close to Cohen says that message was meant to send a clear message about the President's fitness for the job. NBC News has confirmed that report.

A self-described fixer for Trump for more than a decade, Cohen said past year he would "take a bullet" for Trump.

In response, Cohen attorney Davis tweeted, "The strategy of @realdonaldtrump @potus @RudyGiuliani is flawed; just as is #Trump's false #Twitter statement made against @michaelcohen212 this morning". But we know the Federal Bureau of Investigation has them, and that should make Mr. Cohen and his former client very uneasy. "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape". The source with knowledge also said Cohen's recording of the tape was not illegal, as NY is a one-party consent state for recordings.

His comments stoked speculation that he might co-operate with investigators against Mr Trump, although there has been no confirmation so far that he has done so.

After the initial raid on Cohen's office and hotel room, Trump unleashed a furious assault on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying of the raid, "It's an attack on our country ... what we all stand for".

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