WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal investigators kept logs of the phone lines of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, NBC News said on Thursday, correcting an earlier story that said the lines were wiretapped to allow investigators to hear the calls.
“In this case, they were just able to see that somebody called somebody else,” but they were not able to listen to the calls, NBC News reporter Tom Winter, one of the two reporters bylined on the story, said on MSNBC.
NBC News reported that the monitoring of Cohen’s phone lines was in place before the FBI seized records and documents in an April 9 raid on his offices, hotel room and home.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a news briefing, before NBC issued its correction, that she could not verify the NBC report and said she had not talked to Trump about the issue.
The raids were part of a federal criminal investigation of Cohen in New York in part over a $130,000 payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels a month before the 2016 U.S. presidential election to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said on Twitter that Cohen was reimbursed for that payment through a monthly retainer, not campaign funds, to stop “false and extortionist accusations” Daniels has made about a sexual relationship with the president.
Reporting by Makini Brice, Karen Freifeld, Roberta Rampton and Jan Wolfe; Writing by Will Dunham and Eric Beech; editing by Mohammad Zargham and Cynthia Osterman