Timeline of Trump-Cohen phone calls before 2016 election
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal investigators said in court records released Thursday that Donald Trump spoke with longtime lawyer Michael Cohen at least five times as they rushed to quash stories about alleged affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and playboy model Karen McDougal in the days before the 2016 presidential election.
A timeline of key exchanges from the documents:
Oct. 7: “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump bragging about grabbing women’s genitals goes public, threatening his shot at becoming president. At around the same time, federal investigators say, Daniels is talking to ABC News and Slate magazine about going public with her allegations of a 2006 affair.
Oct. 8, 7:20 p.m.: Trump talks to his longtime fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen for four minutes on a phone call initiated by his campaign press secretary Hope Hicks. Federal investigators say some of the calls, emails and texts between Cohen and others over the next hours and days concerned the need to prevent Daniels from going public.
Oct. 8, 7:39 p.m.: Over 20 minutes, Cohen has four separate phone conversations with two executives at the National Enquirer’s parent company, the chief content officer Dylan Howard and his boss, David Pecker, a Trump friend who has helped bury embarrassing stories for celebrities. Howard will help arrange a payment to Stormy Daniels.
Oct. 8, 8:03 p.m.: Cohen calls Trump and they speak for eight minutes. Cohen and Howard exchange several texts that night. One text from Howard states: “Keith will do it,” referring to Keith Davidson, a lawyer for Daniels.
Oct. 10, 10:58 a.m.: Howard texts Cohen and Davidson: “connecting you both in regards to that business opportunity.” Cohen and Davidson text and talk on the phone.
Oct. 17: Davidson emails Cohen threatening to kill the deal if Cohen doesn’t pay up soon, then talks to Cohen on the phone. Howard and Cohen exchange text messages and Cohen tries to call Trump, but appears not to reach him. The call lasts just eight seconds.
Oct. 26: Cohen calls Trump twice in the morning in conversations that lasted four and half minutes. Shortly afterward, Cohen meets with a banker at Trump Tower to finalize the transfer of $130,000 into his new company, Essential Consultants.
Oct. 28, 11:48 a.m.: As Cohen finalizes payments, he speaks by phone with Trump for about five minutes.
Oct. 28, 7:01 p.m.: Cohen trades texts with Daniels’ lawyer, Davidson. “I hope we’re good,” Cohen writes. Davidson replies, “I assure you. We are very good.”
Nov. 4, 8:58 p.m.: Howard and Cohen exchange texts about a forthcoming Wall Street Journal story saying the National Enquirer had “Shielded Donald Trump” from allegations by a second woman, ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, that she had an affair with Trump. The Enquirer’s parent months earlier had paid McDougal $150,000 for her story, which it never published — a tabloid practice known as “catch and kill.”
Cohen says, in what officials understood as a reference to Trump: “He’s pissed.” Howard says, “I’m pissed! You’re pissed. Pecker is pissed. Not much we can do.”
Nov. 5, 7:35 a.m.: After the Wall Street Journal story appears, Cohen and Hicks express relief the story did not receive the attention they feared it would. Cohen texts Hicks: “So far I see only 6 stories. Getting little to no traction.” Hicks responds: “Same. Keep praying!! It’s working!”
Cohen replies, “Even CNN not talking about it.”
Nov. 8: Trump elected 45th president of the United States.