The September 2016 recording between Trump and Cohen includes a short conversation between Cohen and then-candidate Trump talking about a plan, allegedly devised by Cohen, to try to purchase the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal's story from American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, since the media company had already bought the rights to her story.
The audio recording isn't clear, so it's hard to tell if the president is asking Cohen to pay in cash or not pay in cash. "One-fifty?" Trump asks. Cohen says yes. Because Giuliani said Cohen said the word "cash", but the tape proves that Trump said it, Davis says.
Legal experts have said a payment would not violate such laws if it were made for personal reasons. McDougal is a Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with Trump over a decade ago.
"The payment had nothing to do with journalism-and thus can not qualify for any sort of "press" exemption", Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause vice president for policy and litigation, said in a statement.
Fox News and other outlets confirmed the existence of the tape on Friday.
"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David, you know, so that - I'm going to do that right away", Mr Cohen says.
"What he's saying about Mr. Cohen is not true", he added. The parties had previously claimed the 12 recordings were "privileged" and couldn't be seen by the government. As we know, Cohen paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) in October 2016 to keep her quiet about her affair with Donald Trump.
In addition to discussing the McDougal payment, Trump and Cohen are overheard running through a list of potential legal issues, including contesting a New York Times request to unseal divorce records from Trump's first wife Ivana as well as more mundane matters such as polling numbers and Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns.
Davis told ABC that Cohen was not seeking a preemptive pardon from Trump and that Cohen "has turned a corner in his life, and he's now dedicated to telling the truth to everyone". "This is about honesty versus false disparagement of Michael Cohen".