Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, takes a phone call as he sits outside near the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13. (Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Nixon 2.0? After Audio of Michael Cohen Threatening Reporter Emerges, Avenatti Says Trump Tapes 'A Whole Different Level'

"Like the Nixon tapes years ago, we now have what I will refer to as the 'Trump tapes,'" says lawyer demanding Trump's legal team make recordings available to the public

After NPR on Thursday published audio recordings of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen hysterically threatening a reporter in 2015 for going ahead with a negative story about his boss, Michael Avenatti—the lawyer of adult film actress Stormy Daniels—declared early Friday that the "Trump tapes" he claims were disclosed during court proceedings this week are on a "whole different level" than the "disturbing" Cohen audio.

"If you thought the audio released yesterday of thug Cohen berating and threatening Tim Mak was disturbing and disgusting, wait until the Trump tapes are made public."
—Michael Avenatti, lawyer of Stormy Daniels

"Tread very f***ing lightly because what I'm going to do to you is going to be f***ing disgusting," Cohen warned reporter Tim Mak, who co-wrote a 2015 story for The Daily Beast about accusations that Trump raped his ex-wife Ivana.

"Do you understand me? Don't think you can hide behind your pen because it's not going to happen," Cohen told Mak, who bylined NPR's piece on Thursday. "I think you should go ahead and write the story that you plan on writing; I think you should do it because I think you're an idiot...and I think your paper is a joke. And it's going to be my absolute pleasure to serve you with a $500 million lawsuit."

Listen to the full seven-minute recording, which features Cohen falsely insisting in defense of Trump that "by the very definition you can't rape your spouse":

Avenatti was quick to seize upon the explosive tapes on Twitter, denouncing Cohen's "outrageous tactics" and mocking him for not understanding the law as it pertains to marital rape, which is a crime in all fifty states.

"If you thought the audio released yesterday of thug Cohen berating and threatening Tim Mak was disturbing and disgusting, wait until the Trump tapes are made public," Avenatti wrote in a tweet Friday morning. "A whole different level."

While virtually nothing is known about these "Trump tapes"—which, as the Washington Post's Philip Bump notes, may not even exist—Avenatti has been adamant that they are very real and potentially very damaging to the president.

"There was a shocking admission that was made in court today," Avenatti stated after emerging from the district courthouse in New York on Wednesday. "Namely, that just like the Nixon tapes years ago, we now have what I will refer to as the 'Trump tapes.'"

In a tweet on Wednesday, Avenatti called the tapes "Nixon 2.0" and demanded that they be released to the public "immediately."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Reality Winner's Release From Federal Prison Met With Calls for Full Pardon for the NSA Whistleblower

Winner will serve the rest of her five-year sentence under the supervision of a halfway house.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·

Analysis Highlights Biden Proposal to End $84 Billion Gift to Big Oil Buried in Trump Tax Scam

"We can stop this insane corporate welfare and use it to pay for a renewable energy future."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·

Intent on Appeasing Manchin, US Blocks G7 Progress on Phasing Out Coal

"Once again Joe Manchin is casting a heavy shadow."

Julia Conley, staff writer ·

Calls to 'Expand the Supreme Court' Grow as McConnell Warns He's Prepared to Steal Another Seat

"Mitch McConnell is already foreshadowing that he'll steal a 3rd Supreme Court seat if he gets the chance. He's done it before, and he'll do it again."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·

Climate Campaigners Welcome SCOTUS Refusal to Hear Big Oil's Appeal of California Lawsuits

The justices' punting of Chevron v. Oakland means cities' historic litigation will proceed in lower courts.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·