Behold, it is the hay-haired idol of American “Christians.”
With a new book coming out that (laughably) makes excuses for Trump’s abuses and infidelities, called The Faith of Donald J. Trump, you’d think somebody is probably not thrilled with another story of Trump’s absolute unfaithfulness seeing the light of day.
On the contrary, according to the authors, sexual infidelity is the equivalent of searching for God.
So, rejoice, fellow, lukewarmers. There’s a new tale of Trump’s quest for God, today.
Ronan Farrow, who broke Hollywood wide open with his New Yorker report of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s crimes and abuses, has set his sites on Trump, and another 2006 affair with Playboy model, Karen McDougal.
It’s not just the affair, but the planning that went into juggling multiple affairs and covering them up, including payoffs and nondisclosure agreements, all while his new wife and baby were home.
In this instance, the model, McDougal, kept handwritten notes of the affair, which Farrow obtained from her friend, John Crawford, for his piece. When shown the notes, she didn’t deny, and confirmed it was her handwriting.
The affair began after Trump met McDougal at a Playboy Mansion pool party, thrown by Hugh Hefner for contestants of “The Apprentice.”
McDougal was Playmate of the Year in 1998, and was voted runner-up (behind Pamela Anderson) for Playmate of the 90s in 2001.
Trump apparently took a liking to her at this party, took her number, and the affair began shortly after.
Trump and McDougal began talking frequently on the phone, and soon had what McDougal described as their first date: dinner in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. McDougal wrote that Trump impressed her. “I was so nervous! I was into his intelligence + charm. Such a polite man,” she wrote. “We talked for a couple hours – then, it was “ON”! We got naked + had sex.” As McDougal was getting dressed to leave, Trump did something that surprised her. “He offered me money,” she wrote. “I looked at him (+ felt sad) + said, ‘No thanks – I’m not ‘that girl.’ I slept w/you because I like you – NOT for money’ – He told me ‘you are special.’ ”
Afterward, McDougal wrote, she “went to see him every time he was in LA (which was a lot).” Trump, she said, always stayed in the same bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel and ordered the same meal—steak and mashed potatoes—and never drank. McDougal’s account is consistent with other descriptions of Trump’s behavior. Last month, In Touch Weekly published an interview conducted in 2011 with Stephanie Clifford in which she revealed that during a relationship with Trump she met him for dinner at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Trump insisted they watch “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” alleged that Trump assaulted her at a private dinner meeting, in December of 2007, at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Trump, Zervos has claimed, kissed her, groped her breast, and suggested that they lie down to “watch some telly-telly.” After Zervos rebuffed Trump’s advances, she said that he “began thrusting his genitals” against her. (Zervos recently sued Trump for defamation after he denied her account.) All three women say that they were escorted to a bungalow at the hotel by a Trump bodyguard, whom two of the women have identified as Keith Schiller. After Trump was elected, Schiller was appointed director of Oval Office Operations and deputy assistant to the President. Last September, John Kelly, acting as the new chief of staff, removed Schiller from the White House posts. (Schiller did not respond to a request for comment.)
We’ve heard Schiller’s name, a lot. Hey, now we know why Trump was so upset when Schiller left the White House.
McDougal wrote that Trump would fly her out to public events to be at his side, but he never purchased the tickets, himself. She would purchase the tickets and make the arrangements, then he would reimburse her, so as not to leave a paper trail.
She was with him in July 2006 at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, at the Edgewood Resort, on Lake Tahoe.
Do you know who else was there?
Stormy Daniels. He reportedly began his affair with her there.
According to Daniels’ account, Trump didn’t mention that he was sleeping with someone else there, at the time. Another porn star, Alana Evans, claims Trump and Daniels invited her to join them at that weekend romp.
Trump also invited both McDougal and Daniels to the 55th Miss Universe pageant in Los Angeles.
During Trump’s relationship with McDougal, she wrote, he introduced her to members of his family and took her to his private residences. At a January, 2007, launch party in Los Angeles for Trump’s now-defunct liquor brand, Trump Vodka, McDougal, who was photographed entering the event, recalled sitting at a table with Kim Kardashian, Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Trump, Jr.’s wife, Vanessa, who was pregnant. At one point, Trump held a party for “The Apprentice” at the Playboy Mansion, and McDougal worked as a costumed Playboy bunny. “We took pics together, alone + with his family,” McDougal wrote. She recalled that Trump said he had asked his son Eric “who he thought was the most beautiful girl here + Eric pointed me. Mr. T said ‘He has great taste’ + we laughed!” Trump gave McDougal tours of Trump Tower and his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. In Trump Tower, McDougal wrote, Trump pointed out Melania’s separate bedroom. He “said she liked her space,” McDougal wrote, “to read or be alone.”
That is sort of confirmation of some of the rumored tales that are to be included in the upcoming Omarosa tell-all – that Melania and Trump do not share the same bedroom.
McDougal’s account, like those of Clifford and other women who have described Trump’s advances, conveys a man preoccupied with his image. McDougal recalled that Trump would often send her articles about him or his daughter, as well as signed books and sun visors from his golf courses. Clifford recalled Trump remarking that she and Ivanka were similar and proudly showing her a copy of a “money magazine” with his image on the cover.
Trump also promised to buy McDougal an apartment in New York as a Christmas present. Clifford, likewise, said that Trump promised to buy her a condo in Tampa. For Trump, showing off real estate and other branded products was sometimes a prelude to sexual advances.
Surprisingly, it was the nude model who got the bout of conscience and ended the affair, in April 2007.
According to Crawford, the breakup was prompted in part by McDougal’s feelings of guilt. “She couldn’t look at herself in the mirror anymore,” Crawford said. “And she was concerned about what her mother thought of her.” The decision was reinforced by a series of comments Trump made that McDougal found disrespectful, according to several of her friends. When she raised her concern about her mother’s disapproval to Trump, he replied, “What, that old hag?” (McDougal, hurt, pointed out that Trump and her mother were close in age.) On the night of the Miss Universe pageant McDougal attended, McDougal and a friend rode with Trump in his limousine and the friend mentioned a relationship she had had with an African-American man. According to multiple sources, Trump remarked that the friend liked “the big black d*ck” and began commenting on her attractiveness and breast size. The interactions angered the friend and deeply offended McDougal.
So then began the cover-up.
Four days before the 2016 election, on November 4, 2016 the Wall Street Journal broke that story that American Media, Inc., the publishers behind the National Enquirer, had paid $150,000 for the rights to McDougal’s story.
She signed a contract, agreeing to give no one else the story. They promised her a regular aging-and-fitness column as part of the contract, as well.
Then they buried the story. It never saw the light of day.
They also have pretty much reneged on allowing her to do those columns.
Purchasing a story in order to bury it is a practice that many in the tabloid industry call “catch and kill.” This is a favorite tactic of the C.E.O. and chairman of A.M.I., David Pecker, who describes the President as “a personal friend.”
McDougal is afraid to talk openly about the affair, because of the agreement she signed (just like Daniels). She has said, however, that she regretted signing the agreement. She feels it has taken her rights away, and she’s not sure what she can say.
Six former A.M.I. employees told me that Pecker routinely makes catch-and-kill arrangements like the one reached with McDougal. “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. George said that Pecker protected Trump. “Pecker really considered him a friend,” George told me. “We never printed a word about Trump without his approval.” Maxine Page, who worked at A.M.I. on and off from 2002 to 2012, including as an executive editor at one of the company’s Web sites, said that Pecker also used the unpublished stories as “leverage” over some celebrities in order to pressure them to pose for his magazines or feed him stories. Several former employees said that these celebrities included Arnold Schwarzenegger, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, and Tiger Woods. (Schwarzenegger, through an attorney, denied this claim. Woods did not respond to requests for comment.) “Even though they’re just tabloids, just rags, it’s still a cause of concern,” Page said. “In theory, you would think that Trump has all the power in that relationship, but in fact Pecker has the power—he has the power to run these stories. He knows where the bodies are buried.”
Dirty. And expected.
McDougal, who is a Republican, has said that she didn’t want to come forward before the election for several reasons.
For one, she didn’t want to influence the election. For another, she was afraid of Trump’s fanbase. She was afraid of potential death threats and the buzzing hornets nest of the MAGAdooks, anxious to preserve the reputation of their false idol.
The New Yorker was able to get their hands on dozens of pages of emails, texts, and legal documents to map out, step by step, how an attorney named Keith M. Davidson was able to put together the connection and the deal to sell McDougal’s story to A.M.I.
McDougal basically got jerked around on the deal, and said she didn’t understand what she was signing, as Davidson rushed her through it, then took nearly half of the payment.
On August 5, 2016, McDougal signed a limited life-story rights agreement granting A.M.I. exclusive ownership of her account of any romantic, personal, or physical relationship she has ever had with any “then-married man.” Her retainer with Davidson makes explicit that the man in question was Donald Trump. In exchange, A.M.I. agreed to pay her a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The three men involved in the deal—Davidson, Crawford, and their intermediary in the adult-film industry—took forty-five per cent of the payment as fees, leaving McDougal with a total of eighty-two thousand five hundred dollars, billing records from Davidson’s office show. “I feel let down,” McDougal told me. “I’m the one who took it, so it’s my fault, too. But I didn’t understand the full parameters of it.” McDougal terminated her representation by Davidson, but a photograph of McDougal in a bathing suit is still featured prominently on his Web site—according to McDougal, without her permission. The Wall Street Journal reported that, two months after McDougal signed the agreement with A.M.I., Davidson negotiated a nondisclosure agreement between Clifford and Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, for a hundred and thirty thousand dollars. (On Tuesday, Cohen told the Times that he had facilitated the deal with Daniels and paid the money out of his own pocket. Cohen did not respond to a request for comment.)
Apparently, when Stormy Daniels’ story made the news, A.M.I. and David Pecker became concerned. They contacted McDougal, afraid she was going to start singing, as well, and offered to extend her contract to write those fitness columns they’d promised (and then forgot about). They wanted to give her more gigs, with different magazines. Maybe some celebrity interviews on the side, etc…
McDougal’s somewhat-reluctant confessions now have a two-fold root.
First of all, she worries that companies like A.M.I. can have leverage over the president. They have tales of affairs and information they could use against him.
A.M.I. rejects the notion that they have any influence over the president.
Also, McDougal claims to have a spiritual awakening. She “found God.” No, she’s not claiming to have found Him by having a lot of illicit sex. That’s reserved for presidents and future presidents, according to Trump’s evangelical cheerleaders.
No, she had to find God the old-fashioned way. And she wants to do what’s right.
In January, 2017, McDougal had her breast implants removed, citing declining health that she believed to be connected to the implants. McDougal said that confronting illness, and embracing a cause she wanted to speak about, made her feel increasingly conflicted about the moral compromises of silence. “As I was sick and feeling like I was dying and bedridden, all I could do was pray to live. But now I pray to live right, and make right with the wrongs that I have done,” she told me. McDougal also cited the actions of women who have come forward in recent months to describe abuses by high-profile men. “I know it’s a different circumstance,” she said, “but I just think I feel braver.” McDougal told me that she hoped speaking out might convince others to wait before signing agreements like hers. “Every girl who speaks,” she said, “is paving the way for another.”
Well, that, and not having affairs with married men. An ounce of preventing the need to make those agreements would be great.
And now every Trump loyalist will come out of the woodworks to accuse her of every manner of trickery and deceit.
None of this would seem half as horrible, were it not for the fact that Trump is being held up as some sort of virtuous man.
He is not.