‘National Enquirer’ Sent Stories About Trump To Michael Cohen Before Publishing – Report
Michael Cohen Got To Review National Enquirer’s Trump Stories
The Washington Post reported that the Enquirer — a tabloid owned by American Media Inc. — had been sending Cohen the pre-published stories. The tabloid has long supported Trump and David Pecker, the chairman of AMI, is reportedly close friends with the former Apprentice star.
The tabloid reportedly sent Cohen — a fixer for Trump — pre-publication digital copies of pieces and photos that involved Trump.
“If it was a story specifically about Trump, then it was sent over to Michael, and as long as there were no objections from him, the story could be published,” an anonymous source for the Post said.
The newspaper went on to say that Trump suggested articles to the Enquirer “on a regular basis,” either directly to Pecker or with help from Cohen or former communications director Hope Hicks.
Among the stories Trump especially became interested in were news pieces about Hillary Clinton‘s health during the 2016 election. Clinton was revealed to have been suffering from pneumonia just months before the election, after she fainted from heat exhaustion and dehydration in New York City.
Dylan Howard, AMI’s chief content officer, denied accusations that Trump and Cohen ever had early access to review pieces written by the Enquirer or influence the publication’s stories in any way.
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors subpoenaed AMI in connection with a probe into Cohen.
In April, former Playboy model Karen McDougal settled a lawsuit with AMI over allegations she was silenced about an affair she had with Trump in 2007. In August 2016, the Enquirer bought the exclusive rights to McDougal’s story about her affair with the real estate mogul. That piece was never published, although AMI reportedly payed $150,000 for the story.
Just days before that settlement, the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office to search for documents that included payments Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels and other women Trump had extramarital affairs with. Those materials — less than 1 percent of which were found to be privileged — also included records of Cohen’s contacts with Pecker and other AMI executives.