CNN obtained the exclusive recording audio of the conversation between Donald Trump and Michael Cohen that made headlines late last week, and the tape doesn’t look good for either man involved. In addition to the discussion about the payout, Trump also implies that a man who is a nuisance to him could get “hit by a truck.” The tape is odd, but is it proof of criminal activity? Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


On Tuesday evening, CNN obtained a copy of that much-ballyhooed Donald Trump/Michael Cohen tape that surfaced, really, or at least made headlines starting late last week. CNN got the tape from Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen’s attorney, and they played it on air for everybody in this country willing to watch to know what exactly was said.

Michael Cohen: Great poll, by the way.

Donald Trump: I haven’t seen it.

Michael Cohen: Great poll.

Donald Trump: Making progress.

Michael Cohen: Big time.

Donald Trump: And your guy’s a good guy.

Michael Cohen: Who, Pastor Scott?

Donald Trump: I can’t believe this. No, Pastor Scott. What’s happening? Can we use him anymore?

Michael Cohen: Oh, yeah. 100- No, you meant Mark Burns. He’s … We’ve told him to …

Donald Trump: I don’t need that. Mark Burns, are we using him?

Michael Cohen: No. No.

Speaker 4: Richard [inaudible 00:00:48]. I’m sorry, Richard [inaudible 00:00:49] just called. Just when you have a chance, he had an idea for you.

Donald Trump: Okay, great.

Michael Cohen: So we got served from the New York Times. I told you this. We were …

Donald Trump: To what?

Michael Cohen: To unseal the divorce papers with Ivana. We’re fighting it. Kasowitz is going to-

Donald Trump: They should never be able to get that.

Michael Cohen: No, never. Never. Kasowitz says they’ll never be able. They don’t have a-

Donald Trump: Get me a Coke, please!

Michael Cohen: They don’t have a legitimate purpose.

Donald Trump: And you have a woman that doesn’t want them unsealed.

Michael Cohen: Correct.

Donald Trump: Who you’ve been handling.

Michael Cohen: Yes, and it’s all …

Donald Trump: That’s been going on for awhile.

Michael Cohen: For about two, three weeks now.

Donald Trump: All you have to do is delay it for …

Michael Cohen: Even after that, it’s not going to ever 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 that info regarding our friend David. You know, so that … I’m going to do that right away. I’ve actually come up and spoke-

Donald Trump: Give it to me and [inaudible 00:01:42]-

Michael Cohen: And, I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with /

Donald Trump: So, what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?

Michael Cohen: Yes, and it’s all the stuff.

Donald Trump: Yeah, I was thinking about that.

Michael Cohen: All the stuff. Because, here, you never know where that company … You never know where he’s going to be.

Donald Trump: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.

Michael Cohen: Correct, so I’m all over that, and I spoke to Alan about it. When it comes time for the financing, which will be-

Donald Trump: Wait a sec, what financing?

Michael Cohen: Well, I’ll have to pay him something.

Donald Trump: Cash.

Michael Cohen: No. No, no, no, no, no. I got … No, no, no.

Okay. Couple things to address here, and we’re not going to address the “Maybe he gets hit by a truck,” because that sounded a little ominous, and it sounded like Donald Trump was hinting at the fact that he knows people that could make that happen. That’s an issue for a different day. We’re not going to talk about him yelling at somebody to get him a Coke. We are going to talk about “pay with cash,” though, because that seems to be a really important thing.

Not only does it show that, yes, Donald Trump knew that a payment to somebody he had an affair with was about to take place, but it also shows that his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was 100% lying when he told us a few days ago that Donald Trump never said “pay with cash.”

Giuliani told the world that Trump’s never said “pay with cash.” It’s right there on the tape, buddy. He said “pay with cash.” Giuliani is a liar and just lost whatever little bit of credibility he had left, and I’m not talking about with us or with the public. We already knew that. He lost all credibility in court. He blew his case before he even walked into a courtroom. Giuliani is the worst attorney in the world. And I’m glad, because that’s what Trump deserves.

What’s even more important, though, than Giuliani being the biggest dumb ass on the planet is the fact that earlier in the tape, Trump said do it before he implied … I forget the exact phrasing, but said “We have to do it before.” Before what? Before the election? Because if that was the end of your sentence … If you’re trying to say that this has to be done in a timely manner to save your campaign, then guess what? You just committed a felony because, yes, that’s what this is. It was not using campaign funds, as Republicans say, which obviously he didn’t do. It’s seen as an in-kind campaign contribution, and since it exceeded $25,000, it would be classified as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. A felony.

The President is on tape in evidence that could very easily implicate him in a felony. That’s the bottom line here, folks. That’s the big takeaway from the tapes. Now, maybe there’s more tapes out there that clarify what he was saying, and maybe it had nothing to do with Stormy Daniels, or Karen MacDougal, or any of the other women he’s been running around with. Or maybe they make him look even guiltier. We won’t know until those tapes finally come out.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced