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Michael Cohen claims Trump told him Melania came up with a 'locker room talk' version for 'Access Hollywood' tape

Michael Cohen claims Trump told him Melania came up with a 'locker room talk' version for 'Access Hollywood' tape

 


Melania Trump had the idea of ​​filming the famous Access Hollywood tape as a locker room speech, Donald Trump claimed, according to the testimony of his former fixer Michael Cohen on Monday.

“We had to put a spin on this, and the spin he wanted to put was that it was a locker room discussion,” Cohen told jurors in Manhattan Supreme Court, referring to to the 2005 tape in which Trump bragged to a hot microphone. about grabbing women by their genitals.

Cohen said Trump told him the angle was “something Melania recommended, or at least he told me it was what Melania thought it was.”

Donald Trump claimed that his wife Melania gave him the idea to film the famous “Access Hollywood” tape as a locker room speech, according to testimony from Michael Cohen. Access Hollywood
Cohen said Trump's motivation in removing the damage caused by the tape was not to protect Melania but to protect his campaign. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Trump allegedly added to his then-“fixer” that they should “use” the excuse “in order to take control of the story and minimize its impact on him and his campaign,” Cohen testified.

The content of the recording was “pretty damaging,” Cohen added.

Jurors will not see the “Access Hollywood” video recording during the trial, per Judge Juan Merchan's ruling.

But during opening arguments, prosecutors read Trump's now-infamous words: “You can do anything — grab 'em by the pussy, you can do anything.” »

Cohen arriving at his Manhattan home after testifying in the trial of former President Donald Trump, May 13, 2024. Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The recording was leaked to the press just a month before the October 7, 2016 election, and prosecutors argued that it was in this context that suppressing allegations of Trump's extramarital affairs became all the more important to his campaign.

Trump's lawyers will likely argue that the real estate mogul's motivation for allegedly ordering Cohen to pay $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels was to protect Melania, rather than influence the outcome of the election, as prosecutors said.

Cohen, under direct questioning by prosecutors, claimed that Trump was trying to protect his election bid — not his wife.

The disbarred attorney said he asked Trump how Melania would react to the tape, saying, “How's it going to be upstairs?” »

Cohen said Trump told him that Melania came up with the “locker room talk” angle since that's how she interpreted Trump's comments on the tape. Getty Images

But Trump reportedly responded cavalierly: “Don’t worry; How long do you think I will be on the market? Not long.”'

He wasn't thinking about Melania. It was all about the campaign,” Cohen said of the exchange — at which point Trump, sitting at the defense table, turned to him and shook his head with a smirk on the face.


Follow the Post's live blog for the latest updates on Donald Trump's hush money trial.


Cohen claimed that Trump wanted him to delay publishing Daniels' story until after the election.

“I want you to put it off as long as you can, get through the election,” Cohen said Trump said. “Because if I win, it won’t matter because I’m president. And if I lose, I don't care.

Cohen testified that Trump told him not to worry about how recording would affect his marriage. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Prosecutors charged Trump, 77, with 34 counts of falsifying business records for allegedly falsely recording reimbursements to Cohen for paying Daniels as legal fees.

They claim Trump tried to corrupt the election by hiding payments that were supposed to benefit his campaign but exceeded the legal limit an individual can make to a candidate.

Prosecutors also say he also made Playboy playmate Karen McDougal pay $150,000 to stop her from talking about an alleged month-long affair with Trump, while he was married to Melania .

Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Cohen is expected to continue his testimony Tuesday.

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