Tabloid paid for, spiked, salacious Trump tip

President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen said he was aware of the story but denied knowledge of the tipster's $30,000 payday

President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen said he was aware of the story but denied knowledge of the tipster's $30,000 payday

An FBI raid executed Monday on Cohen's office and residences sought all of the lawyer's records of communications with AMI, Pecker and National Enquirer executive Dylan Howard regarding two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump while he was married, according to three people familiar with the investigation.

Multiple sources tied to American Media, Inc.

Whether or not Sajudin's account is true, the revelation that AMI effectively paid the ex-doorman what amounted to "hush-money" is the latest in an emerging pattern of schemes to "catch-and-kill" negative stories about the president, which may have hurt his chances at the presidency.

"He's infamous for making up stories", Nikki Benfatto told the Daily News.

A former Trump World Tower doorman with a salacious tale about the man who would be president sold its rights to the parent company of National Enquirer, which promptly killed the story, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

The Enquirer endorsed Trump's campaign, and the AP notes the tabloid published articles claiming Trump opponent Hillary Clinton was a bisexual "secret sex freak" and survived on a "narcotics cocktail".

In a statement, the former doorman, Dino Sajudin, said: "Today I awoke to learn that a confidential agreement I had with AMI (The National Enquirer) with regard to a story about President Trump was leaked to the press".

RadarOnline, another AMI publication, published a report Wednesday that said the Enquirer researched the story for four weeks before deciding the rumor was not true and ending its investigation.

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Mr Sajudin told the magazine that he had heard a rumour that Mr Trump fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations. AMI has said that McDougall did not produce the columns, according to the New Yorker.

McDougal was paid $150,000 by the Enquirer to keep her mouth shut about the Trump affair, and is now suing to be released from that silence agreement.

"Once she's part of the company, then on the outside she can't be bashing Trump and American Media", Pecker said.

Speaking with AP reporters, Cohen confirmed that he had discussed Sajudin's account with the National Enquirer while the tabloid was still working on it, but denied knowing about the payment beforehand. "I think the public should know that".

The company has said it paid McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate, to be a columnist for an AMI-published fitness magazine, not to stay silent.

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. Dino's contract with the company reportedly included a million-dollar penalty if he came forward with any information about Trump without permission from AMI.

"It seems like the writing is on the wall about that, it's pretty clear", Sajudin said before referring more questions to his lawyer. If prosecutors determine that the paper was indeed operating on behalf of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, or Trump's current 2020 campaign, both the Enquirer and the campaign could be on the hook for serious violations of election finance laws.

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