WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal investigators wiretapped the phone lines of U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen before the raid on his offices, hotel room and home, NBC News reported

on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the legal proceedings.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The raids occurred in April as part of a federal criminal investigation in New York partly over a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has alleged an affair with Trump a decade ago. Trump called her claims “false and extortionist” in a tweet on Thursday.

The New York investigation is an offshoot of the ongoing probe by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Both Russia and Trump deny any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, which is handling the Cohen investigation, declined to comment. Neither Cohen nor a lawyer for him immediately responded to requests for comment.

Reporting by Makini Brice and Karen Freifeld; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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