New leaked audio, which aired on Fox News Wednesday night, shows CNN prime time anchor Chris Cuomo coached President Donald Trump’s personal attorney ahead of a 2018 interview and gave the New York lawyer lines to rehearse.
Over the course of the recorded-in-person conversation, Cohen tells Cuomo that his network colleague, Erin Burnett, urged Cohen to appear on her show first since, according to Cohen, “it’s better if I do it with a woman.”
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson later went on to broadcast audio between the two featuring Cuomo counseling Cohen on how to respond to scripted questions during their own upcoming interview. Cohen, at the time, was facing criticism for hush money payments sent to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of the president in 2016 as not to derail Trump’s triumphant White House bid. In August 2018, Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to eight counts, which included campaign finance violations that sent the presidential lawyer to jail.
“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 with a specific intention,” Cuomo told Cohen.
Carlson went on to describe the audio recording in further detail, describing how the conversation between the two devolved into a “one-man play” featuring Cuomo asking his own questions and acting out how Cohen ought to respond.
“And why didn’t you let it all come out and let the people decide?” Cuomo asked himself, playing himself.
“Because it’s not a fair process,” Cuomo responded to himself, this time as Cohen during the hypothetical. “They wouldn’t have had any of the counter facts and they would have had her, 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.”
Cuomo also coached Cohen through questions the attorney would face related to a shell corporation that was used to facilitate payments to women.
“I’m not being shady,” Cuomo told Cohen to say. “I was being legal and I did it my way. You’re wrong about the LLC … I’ve used it for other things. I have tons of LLCs. I did not form it just to do this. And even if I had, my whole point would have been to keep it quiet. But that happens to just not be true.”
Wednesday’s new audio comes a day after Carlson released the recording of a conversation between Cohen and CNN President Jeff Zucker, where the network president in 2016 floated the idea of giving Trump a weekly program while offering the Republican candidate debate advice.
“I have all these proposals for him,” Zucker said in a recorded phone call with Cohen. “Like, I want to do a weekly show with him and all this stuff.”
As it turns out, @CNN's Jeff Zucker is a big fan of President Trump.
Here is the full segment from Tucker. pic.twitter.com/1Bl9yYxCBf
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 9, 2020