World Media

Tabloid paid out $30K to spike story alleging Trump love child

Tabloid paid out $30K to spike story alleging Trump love child

Sajudin claimed that he heard rumors that the former star of The Celebrity Apprentice fathered a child out of wedlock with one of his employees who worked at the Trump World Tower.

The methods AMI uses to hide headline-worthy stories should cause anyone thinking about reading their publications to reconsider their go-to choices to get real news. That relationship, Sajudin had heard, resulted in a child fathered by Trump with the unnamed woman in question.

RadarOnline, a sister publication of the Enquirer, published details of Sajudin's tale Wednesday, hours before The New Yorker and AP published their stories.

Others said stories attacking Trump's rivals - including Hillary Clinton - were not subject to the same stringent fact-checking before publication. So far, various outlets have documented at least three separate instances in which people close to the president made a concentrated effort to scrub damaging stories and portray the then-candidate in a more positive light, ahead of pivotal moments along the campaign.

Tabloids such as the National Enquirer frequently pay people for their stories, but Enquirer employees told the AP that they thought this was a clear case of "catch and kill" - paying for the rights to a story for the objective of burying it.

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The story about the Sajudin deal draws parallels with previous reports saying the Enquirer tried to "catch and kill" the story about Trump's alleged liaison with Playboy model Karen McDougal.

"Today I awoke to learn that a confidential agreement that I had with AMI (The National Inquirer) with regard to a story about President Trump was leaked to the press", Sajudin statement's to CNN read. Cohen served as the President's spokesman during the 2016 Presidential Campaign, and he also denied hearing about the story on the campaign trail.

Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, told the news service he had spoken about the rumor with the magazine when it was reportedly working on it.

Common Cause, a government watchdog, said it filed complaints Thursday with the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission claiming that Trump and American Media violated campaign contribution rules in the $30,000 payment to Sajudin.

"But after four weeks of investigation, and dozens of phone calls, the tabloid - famed for proving John Edwards had fathered a "love child" - concluded the story was NOT true".

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Dylan Howard, the Enquirer's editor-in-chief and an executive at American Media, acknowledged a year ago paying Sajudin but said the story ultimately was spiked because it "lacked any credibility", the AP reported. "Unfortunately, however, Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away". "Fortunately, the First Amendment does not play politics", Howard said. He set up a shell company that paid Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about Trump's alleged 2006 sexual encounter with her.

Six current and former A.M.I. employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared legal retaliation by the company, said that Sajudin had told A.M.I. the names of the alleged mistress and child.

He is now under investigation over McDougal's case and a $130,000 payment in 2016 to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, who also alleges she had an affair with the president.

The woman told AP she never had an affair with Trump.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to AMI and the White House for comment.

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