National Enquirer paid doorman with gossip on Trump $30000 to keep quiet

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

(AMI) paid ex-doorman Dino Sajudin to sign over the rights, "in perpetuity", to a rumor about Trump allegedly having fathered a child with a Trump World Tower employee.

The news of Sajudin's purchased silence by the National Enquirer comes just days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen for records of suppressing negative stories about the president as he ran for office.

But The New Yorker and the Associated Press both talked to staffers of The National Enquirer who said they were told not to pursue the story even after Sajudin gave them the tip. Still, "unhinged Twitter rants are not how you respond to federal investigation, it's how you escalate a global military conflict", Colbert said, reading Trump's hot-and-cold tweets about lobbing missiles at Syria and Russian Federation. The 2015 payment was reportedly made in order to buy exclusive rights to Sajudin as a news source, primarily over a rumor that Trump had a child with a former employee in the 1980s.

AMI paid her $150,000 for her story about the alleged affair and then withheld it from publication, according to The New York Times.

Although Sajudin's $30,000 pales in comparison to McDougal's, the kicker is a clause that subjects him to a $1 million penalty should he break his contract with A.M.I., which later claimed that his story was bogus.


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.

That's the impression left by new reports by the New Yorker and the Associated Press detailing a $30,000 payment made by the National Enquirer's parent company to a former doorman, Dino Sajudin, who said he had heard rumors of Trump fathering a child with an employee. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization denied the allegations, including the assertion that Calamari told Sajudin the story. Sajudin declined to speak with either organisation, and both cited as their sources legal documents as well as multiple current and former A.M.I. employees.

AMI executive Dylan Howard, who now serves as the Enquirer's chief content officer, told reporters last summer that executives supposedly made the payment to Sajudin in order to secure the tip, which he said would have sold "hundreds of thousands" of magazines.

"You know I took a polygraph test", Sajudin said. "We had stories and we bought them knowing full well they were never going to run", Jerry George, a former A.M.I. senior editor who worked at the company for more than twenty-five years, told me. The sizable payout for an unsubstantiated rumor also raised eyebrows.

The story wasn't broken by the New Yorker and the AP but, rather, by Radar Online, a sister publication of the Enquirer, on Wednesday. While he frequently calls reports from mainstream companies "fake news", Trump has had a relatively positive relationship with AMI, which has generally published articles to his liking.

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