Trump lashes out at Cohen over hush money tape

In this May 30, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen arrives to court in New York. (AP)
Updated 25 July 2018

Trump lashes out at Cohen over hush money tape

  • Cohen, who no longer works for the US president, is under federal investigation in New York for his business dealings
  • The Trump team denied any knowledge of the deal between McDougal and American Media

NEW YORK: President Donald Trump lashed out at his longtime personal lawyer Wednesday after CNN aired a tape in which the pair discussed how to hush up allegations that he had an affair with a Playboy model.
“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?” Trump tweeted.
“Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped — can this be so? Too bad!“
On the tape released Tuesday by CNN, Trump can be heard discussing with New York fixer Michael Cohen how to buy the rights to the story of a Playboy model, who claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006.
Cohen, who no longer works for the US president, is under federal investigation in New York for his business dealings and reportedly whether hush payments violated campaign finance laws.
The release of the tape, which was first reported by The New York Times last week, has fanned speculation about how much damage Cohen can inflict on the president.
It comes after an interview released earlier this month saw Cohen apparently signal potential willingness to cooperate with prosecutors against his former boss.
The tape involves Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had a months-long fling with Trump after they met in 2006. That was shortly after now First Lady Melania gave birth to their son, Barron.
On the tape, Trump and Cohen talk about buying the rights to McDougal’s story, which she had sold a month earlier to the National Enquirer for $150,000. The tabloid never published the story.
During the campaign, the Trump team denied any knowledge of the deal between McDougal and American Media, the magazine’s parent company.
But on the tape, candidate Trump expresses no surprise when the issue comes up and Cohen talks about essentially reimbursing the company for what it paid McDougal.


India reimposes movement curbs on parts of Kashmir’s main city after clashes

Updated 18 min 12 sec ago

India reimposes movement curbs on parts of Kashmir’s main city after clashes

  • There were violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured
  • India has been fighting a revolt in which at least 50,000 people have been killed

SRINAGAR: Indian authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of Kashmir’s biggest city, Srinagar, on Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured, two senior officials and eyewitnesses said.
In the past 24 hours, there has been a series of protests against New Delhi’s Aug. 5 revocation of the region’s autonomy. This followed an easing in curbs on movement on Saturday morning.
The state government has said that it has not imposed a curfew over the past two weeks, but on Sunday people were being turned back at multiple roadblocks set up in the city in the past few hours. Security forces at some roadblocks have told residents there is a curfew.
Two senior government officials told Reuters that at least two dozen people were admitted to hospitals with pellet injuries after violent clashes broke out in the old city on Saturday night.
Representatives in the Jammu and Kashmir government in Srinagar and the federal government in New Delhi did not immediately return calls asking about the latest clampdown or seeking an assessment of the number of injuries and clashes.
One of the official sources said that people pelted security forces with stones in around two dozen places across Srinagar. He said that the intensity of the stone pelting protests has increased over past few days.
The heavy overnight clashes took place mostly in Rainawari, Nowhetta and Gojwara areas of the old city where Indian troops fired tear smoke, chilly grenades and pellets to disperse protesters, eyewitnesses and officials said.
Chilly grenades contain very spicy chili pepper, and produce a major eye and skin irritant, as well as a pungent smell, when they are unleashed.
The officials, who declined to be identified because they aren’t supposed to talk to the media, said clashes also took place in other parts of the city including Soura, a hotbed of protests in the past two weeks.
A senior government official and hospital authorities at Srinagar’s main hospital said that at least 17 people came there with pellet injuries. They said 12 were discharged while five with grievous injuries were admitted.
The hospital officials and a police officer told Reuters that a 65-year-old man, Mohammad Ayub of Braripora, was admitted to the hospital after he had major breathing difficulties when tear gas and chilly grenades were fired in old city area on Saturday afternoon. He died in the hospital on Saturday night and has already been buried, they said.
Javed Ahmad, age 35 and from the wealthy Rajbagh area of Srinagar, was prevented from going to the old city early Sunday morning by paramilitary police at a barricade near the city center. “I had to visit my parents there. Troops had blocked the road with concertina wire. They asked me to go back as there was curfew in the area,” he said.
Telephone landlines were restored in parts of the city on Saturday after a 12-day blackout and the state government said most telephone exchanges in the region would start working by Sunday evening. Internet and cell phones remain blocked in Kashmir.
More than 500 political or community leaders and activists remained in detention, and some have been flown to prisons outside the state.
For 30 years in the part of Kashmir that it controls, India has been fighting a revolt in which at least 50,000 people have been killed. Critics say the decision to revoke autonomy will cause further alienation and fuel the armed resistance.
The change will allow non-residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, and end the practice of reserving state government jobs for local residents.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said the measure is necessary to integrate Kashmir fully into India and speed up its development.