Trump responds to Cohen taping: 'Your favourite president did nothing wrong'

President Donald Trump is asserting that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

President Trump responded for the first time Saturday to news that his longtime attorney Michael Cohen recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump discussing payment to a former Playboy model.

That conversation took place weeks before Trump's November 2016 election.

In his first direction reaction to a report broken by the New York Times a day earlier, Trump added: "The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!"

The recording was reportedly seized in a federal raid on Cohen's properties in April.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. CNN's Keith Allen has also just reported that Trump's reaction when he was informed that at least one tape was in the FBI's possession, was, "I can't believe Michael would do this with me".

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"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", he tweeted. "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence".

The revelation of the tape comes as Cohen has signalled that he might be willing to cooperate with the federal investigation into his business dealings, a probe that has examined his interactions with AMI and a hush-money payment he arranged with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who also claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.

Cohen had made a practice of recording telephone conversations, unbeknownst to those he was speaking with.

The former model, Karen McDougal, said she began an almost yearlong affair with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron, the Times said. Giuliani says what's important is Trump said that if it were made it should be properly documented.

Non-disclosure agreements of the type signed by Ms Daniels and allegedly by Ms McDougal are not in themselves illegal. It was not immediately clear where Trump and Cohen were located at the time of the call.

The story was never published.

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