Lawyer recorded Trump conversation about hush payments to former Playmate

The New York Times reports that the recording was seized by the FBI earlier this year

Lawyer recorded Trump conversation about hush payments to former Playmate

US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, 19-07-2018. Image: Liu Jie/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The US President's former lawyer secretly recorded him discussing plans to make hush payments to a former Playboy model.

The New York Times (NYT) reports that Michael Cohen recorded the conversation with Donald Trump two months before the 2016 US Presidential election.

Model Karen McDougal has claimed she had an affair with President Trump for nearly a year starting in 2006 - shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to the President's son Barron.

According to the NYT report, the recording was seized by the FBI during a raid on Mr Cohen's office this year.

Hush money

The US Justice Department is investigating Mr Cohen's alleged involvement in making payments to women in an effort to silence embarrassing news stories about the then-presidential candidate in the run-up to the election.

President Trump's current lawyer Rudy Giuliani has confirmed the recording is real but has insisted the payment was never made.

He told the newspaper that the recording seized was less than two minutes long - and demonstrated that the president had done nothing wrong.

Affair

Karen McDougal at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada08-01-2011. Image: John Chennavasin/Zuma Press/PA Images

Karen McDougal sold her story to The National Enquirer in the final months of the presidential campaign but the tabloid did not publish it, keeping it from becoming public.

In March, she sued the publication, asking to be released from their agreement forbidding her from talking about the alleged affair.

Separately, porn star Stormy Daniels filed a lawsuit earlier this year asking a judge to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from talking about her affair with Mr Trump.

Ms Daniels described the agreement as "null and void and of no consequence" because Mr Trump did not sign it.