Shock As The National Enquirer Scandal Sheet Involved In Covering Up Trump Sex Scandal Stories.

Photo credit: The National Enquirer. Stories in the National Enquirer are often entertaining, but it is not generally regarded as an authoritative source for news.
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Now retired National Enquirer publisher David Pecker told the court at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York that the future U.S. president invited  him to an August 2015 meeting to see how Pecker could “help the campaign.”  As a result of that discussions, Pecker said, he agreed to have his publication kill sex-related stories that could have hurt Trump’s clean-cut image in his 2016 White House election campaign.

On its Wep page the National Enquirer claims that reports the unvarnished stories about celebrities- their antics, celebrations, loves and mishaps. However, its stories are generally regarded as unreliable and, at best, speculative, in spite of occasional worldwide scoops.

Readers will certainly have expected to get the inside scoop on Donald Trump’s love life.

In one instance, Pecker told the 12 jurors that in a “catch and kill” scheme employed by his tabloid, National Enquirer, he killed a story about Dino Sajudin, a doorman at a Trump property in New York who claimed the real estate mogul had fathered an out-of-wedlock child.

Pecker testified he paid the doorman $30,000, even though upon further investigation his story turned out to be false.

The way this worked was that Pecker would pay the informant for exclusive publishing rights to the story, but never publish the story, but instead seek compensation from the subject of the story.

Before the court session ended for the day, Pecker began testifying about a second case of “catch and kill” that prosecutors say will be a saga of how he paid $150,000 for the rights to a claim by Karen McDougal, Playboy magazine’s 1998 Playmate of the Year, that she had a months-long affair with Trump, and then killed that story, too.

In the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president, Trump is accused of scheming to hide hush money payments to Sajudin and two women, McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels, to keep the women from publicly talking about their alleged affairs with Trump just ahead of the 2016 election. Trump has denied their claims.

The 72-year-old Pecker said he had known Trump since the 1980s but at first didn’t know the purpose of the 2015 Trump Tower meeting in New York when Trump’s one-time lawyer and political fixer, Michael Cohen, called him and told him “the boss wanted to see me.”

Pecker said he was glad to help because “writing positive stories about Mr. Trump and covering the election and writing negative stories about his opponents” helped them both, boosting the grocery store tabloid’s sales while benefiting the Trump campaign. But he acknowledged to prosecutor Joshua Steinglass that killing stories that would have hurt Trump only helped the candidate, not the tabloid.

Pecker says the love child story would have been a major story at the time, but that he believed it was important to have it “removed from the market.” He said Cohen told him, “The boss would be very pleased.”

The jury was shown a contract the National Enquirer reached with Sajudin, the doorman, in which the words “Donald Trump’s illegitimate child” were featured prominently.

“I made the decision to buy the story because of the potential embarrassment it would have to the campaign and Mr. Trump,” Pecker said. In different ways, he said several times that he was acting on Trump’s behalf.

“If the story came back true, I would’ve published the story shortly after it was verified … after the election,” Pecker testified.

Pecker earlier had described Trump “as very detail-oriented, almost as a micromanager from what I saw. He looked at all of the aspects of whatever the issue was.”

Pecker said that at the first meeting with Trump and Cohen he asked that the “catch and kill” arrangement be kept secret, saying he wanted it “very confidential” because he did not want it known that he was helping Trump first to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and later defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in that year’s national election.

Purchasing information to then kill a story is not normal practice in American journalism.

When McDougal started shopping her story shortly before the election, Pecker said he told Trump, “I think you should buy it.”

Pecker testified that Trump said he’d think about it and have Cohen call Pecker back.

Source: VOA



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