President Donald Trump has condemned his former lawyer Michael Cohen amid US media reports that he secretly recorded Mr Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model.
The tapes were reportedly discovered during an FBI raid on Mr Cohen’s property earlier this year in New York.
Mr Trump tweeted that such a raid was “almost unheard of”.
He added that a lawyer secretly recording a client was “totally unheard of and perhaps illegal”.
The president also insisted he had done nothing wrong.
The New York Times reports that in the recording, Mr Trump and Mr Cohen discuss paying Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Mr Trump.
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
The tape was reportedly made two months before the 2016 election that saw Mr Trump become president.
The Department of Justice is looking into alleged hush money paid to women who claim they had a relationship with Mr Trump.
Mr Cohen, who has not been charged, is reportedly under investigation for possible bank and tax fraud, as well as potential violation of election law.
His lawyer Lanny J Davis said in a brief statement on Friday that he was “sensitive” to the ongoing investigation but added: “Suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr Cohen. Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape.”
In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, Ms McDougal sold her story to the National Enquirer, which is owned by a personal friend of Mr Trump.
She says the $150,000 (£115,000) agreement gave the tabloid exclusive story rights and banned her from talking publicly about the alleged affair. But the Enquirer did not publish her kiss-and-tell, and she says she was tricked.
Source – BBC