Leaked audio tapes suggest CNN anchor Chris Cuomo coached Michael Cohen in how to answer questions on hush money payments before the 2016 election ahead of a 2018 TV appearance
- The leaked audio tape was obtained by Fox’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ show
- It appears to show CNN’s Chris Cuomo interview coaching Michael Cohen
- Recorded in 2018, their conversation came before Cohen was found guilty
- He pleaded guilty to eight counts, including campaign finance violations in 2018
- The recording were apparently recorded by Cohen, who denies leaking them
Leaked audio tapes have suggested that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo coached Michael Cohen ahead of an an appearance on the network.
In a recorded in-person conversation from 2018, obtained by Fox’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ show, Cuomo is head speaking to Cohen and talking through a hypothetical interview.
At the time, Trump’s former attorney was being scrutinised over hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the final days before the 2016 election.
In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud, saying he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of Trump.
The recorded conversation between Cuomo and Cohen first hears Cohen saying Erin Burnett, another CNN anchor, urged Cohen to appear on her show first because – according to him – she said it would be ‘better if I do it with a woman.’
Chris Cuomo – the star anchor of CNN’s ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ and brother of New York City mayor Andrew Cuomo – has been heard in leaked recordings coaching Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen ahead of an interview with CNN in 2018
Pictured: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, returns to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington in 2019. Recording have been leaked of Cohen’s private conversations with Chris Cuomo, which he recorded himself
Following this, Cuomo is heard apparently coaching Cohen through a hypothetical interview.
‘You will be asked that and you can say, “I did it for [Donald Trump]. My relationship has always been for him. I’ve always said I don’t speak for the campaign. I speak for him as his attorney,”‘ Cuomo told Cohen.
‘And to the question of motive … the response would have to be, “You can speculate as to why you think I did it all day long, but the only answer is my answer and I just told you why I did it. You don’t get to speculate because if you can’t prove that I got paid back by Trump or the campaign, it is slander and defamation for you to say that I did.”‘
Cuomo goes on to tell Cohren ‘I think the way this conversation goes is almost exactly the way we’re having it right now. Which is where I say, “This looks shady,” and you say, “It looks shady to you because you’re coming in with a specific intention.”‘
Cuomo, switching back to the role interviewer, asks ‘Why didn’t you let it all come out and let the people decide?’, telling Cuomo to respond by saying, ‘Because it’s not a fair process.’
Speaking as Cohen, Cuomo says: ‘They wouldn’t have had any of the counter facts and they would have had her, you know, if she was somehow convinced to do it and people decided to believe that her denials were somehow less true than her admissions.
‘I didn’t want to play that game. Everything was tilted against Mr. Trump.’
The ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ anchor went on to offer further advice to Cohen about how he should answer questions about a shell corporation he used to pay a woman, telling Cohen to say that it was within the law, and that he has ‘tons of LLCs’.
The anchor then suggests that Cohen attack the media, telling him to say ‘Unlike the media, who is reporting on this, I don’t like to say things just cause they are convenient when they are untrue.’
The recorded in-person conversation from 2018 were obtained by Fox’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ show (pictured)
The conversation hears Chris Cuomo coaching Cohen through a hypothetical interview. Pictured: Fox News broadcasts a clip from the recording on the Tucker Carlson show
The recording was apparently made by Cohen, who is well known for secretly recording conversations, and admitted that he had a copy of the audio tape in question.
Last week, another secret recording of a conversation between Cuomo and Cohen was released, in which Cuomo was heard lamenting and denying apparent rampant rumors of sexual misconduct.
‘I’m always careful when I talk to media,’ Cuomo says on the recording, which was also released by Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night, before launching into a tirade.
‘Do you know how many f***ing phone calls I’ve gotten from ABC, who say that reporters are calling and lying about things they heard about me, to try and get stories about me when I was at ABC,’ Cuomo said, referencing his prior stint as chief law and justice correspondent at ABC News.
‘Guys calling and saying “I heard he was the Charlie Rose of ABC, used to invite women to his hotel room in a bath robe,”‘ the newsman goes on. ‘Do I look like the kinda f***ing guy who’s gotta do that?’
‘Sure, why not,’ Cohen replies, which Cuomo appears to ignore.
The CNN host continues: ‘Like, “I already have a good source who says he forced a woman to have sex, I just want to know if you’ve heard anything like that?” There is no woman! There is none of this!’
‘So here’s the problem,’ Cohen replies, upon which Cuomo immediately cuts him off to continue his rant.
Cuomo went on: ‘Women who do work there, saying “Oh yeah you known, some of these men” and naming me with other guys, “you know he bumped into me once in the elevator, and he put his hand on my shoulder and he made me really uncomfortable.” I mean what the f***?’
‘It’s a problem,’ says Cohen, to which Cuomo blasts back: ‘I always told you, the media is not your friend.’
‘I’m always careful when I talk to media,’ Cuomo is heard saying on the recording, which was released by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on September 2
In a tweet promoting his upcoming memoir, Cohen denied that he was the one to release the secret audio tape to the media, however.
‘The only people in possession of these recordings are me, [the Department of Justice and President Trump] & Trump Org,’ Cohen wrote.
‘I did not give this recording or authorization for its use to @FoxNews or anyone,’ he continued. ‘[Trump] and cronies violated my First amendment rights and now this; all to discredit me and my book. What’s next?’
He is currently serving the remainder of his sentence on house arrest due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cohen mounted a successful court battle to overturn his re-arrest when photos of him dining out in Manhattan emerged in July, in apparent violation of the terms of his house arrest.
His memoir, which will be highly critical of Trump, is due to be released on September 8.
Carlson himself has faced allegations of workplace misconduct, in a civil suit filed in July by a former Fox News contributor, who claimed that he propositioned her to return to his hotel room after filming a segment. Through a spokesperson, Carlson flatly denied the allegation.
Following the leak of the first audio tapes, and in a Tweet promoting his new book ‘Disloyal’, Cohen said that only the Department of Justice, Donald Trump and the Trump organization had access to the tapes