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Michael Cohen. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI has obtained a recording of a conversation between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump from September 2016 in which the two discussed a potential payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal who claimed she had an affair with Trump, reports the New York Times.

What they're saying: "Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed in a telephone conversation on Friday that Mr. Trump had discussed the payments with Mr. Cohen on the tape but said the payment was ultimately never made," per the Times' Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt. "He said the recording was less than two minutes and demonstrated that the president had done nothing wrong."

The details: The FBI reportedly obtained the recording during their April raid of Cohen's office and hotel room.

  • Flashback: Trump blasted the raid at a meeting with senior military leadership, calling it a "disgraceful situation" and an "attack on our country in a true sense ... an attack on what we all stand for."

Why it matters: This is a nightmare scenario for the White House. As Mike Allen reported after the raid, "Cohen, unlike Ivanka or the other kids, is the only person on earth intertwined in Trump’s professional, political, personal, legal and family life — the man with secrets few others hold."

Go deeper: Michael Cohen, the problem Trump can’t make vanish

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Updated 1 hour ago - Science

NASA's delays Mars helicopter test flight

Ingenuity (left) with Perseverance on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA announced Saturday it rescheduled its Ingenuity Mars helicopter's first experimental flight, originally planned for Sunday.

The latest: "During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a 'watchdog' timer expiration," NASA said in a statement. "This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of RNC retreat

Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Photo: Chris Maddaloni / Getty Images

During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted off the premises while his primary opponent, Jane Timken, was allowed to stay, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort, and the RNC reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, was invited to the event “because she is a major donor” — Mandel was not, so he was asked to leave, according to one of the sources.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Report: John Kerry plans to visit China ahead of Biden's climate summit

John Kerry. Photo: Zach Gibson / Stringer

John Kerry, President Biden's special climate envoy, is expected to travel to China next week for meetings with officials aimed at boosting collaboration, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter and the U.S. is second-largest.

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