It’s almost like there’s a pattern you can follow.
The Associated Press is reporting on a story about another payout for the purposes of keeping a Donald Trump dalliance quiet.
In this case, a former doorman for one of Trump’s properties, Dino Sajudin, was paid $30,000 by the National Enquirer for a rumored tale of an affair with a Trump Organization employee, eight months before Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal, was paid $150,000 to remain silent about the affair she had with Trump.
All of this was going on while Trump had a new wife, either pregnant or with a newborn at home.
In another familiar twist, in accepting payment, Sajudin was to sign a contract preventing him from telling the story to anyone else.
And then they buried the story.
The Associated Press confirmed the details of the Enquirer’s payment through a review of a confidential contract and interviews with dozens of current and former employees of the Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc. Sajudin got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights, “in perpetuity,” to a rumor he’d heard about Trump’s sex life — that the president had fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations. The contract subjected Sajudin to a $1 million penalty if he disclosed either the rumor or the terms of the deal to anyone.
Cohen, the longtime Trump attorney, acknowledged to the AP that he had discussed Sajudin’s story with the magazine when the tabloid was working on it. He said he was acting as a Trump spokesman when he did so and denied knowing anything beforehand about the Enquirer payment to the ex-doorman.
McDougal has previously said in interviews that she signed a similar agreement, along with a promised position writing fitness columns for the magazine that never materialized, once the deal was made.
The recent raid by authorities on Trump lawyer, Cohen’s home and office were very much related to the payout to former porn star, Stormy Daniels, as they attempt to determine if campaign finance laws were broken.
Any communications between Cohen, AMI’s chief executive, and the National Enquirer’s top editor are part of what they’re searching for.
David Pecker, the National Enquirer’s top guru, is an all-in-for-Trump kinda guy. They’re longtime friends, so you won’t get a lot of bad press for Trump from that source.
So itchy are they over this story, that AMI threatened to sue the AP, as they pursued leads from current and former employees.
Asked about the payment last summer, Dylan Howard, the Enquirer’s top editor and an AMI executive, said he made the payment to secure the former Trump doorman’s exclusive cooperation because the tip, if true, would have sold “hundreds of thousands” of magazines. Ultimately, he said the information “lacked any credibility,” so he spiked the story on those merits.
“Unfortunately…Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away,” Howard told RadarOnline on Wednesday.
But four longtime Enquirer staffers directly familiar with the episode challenged Howard’s version of events. They said they were ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads.
Former and current employees with the Enquirer are required to sign nondisclosure agreements, so they couldn’t really speak openly about the practices of the magazine.
Donald Trump was the first time the National Enquirer has ever endorsed a political candidate, and that may be because of the tight bond between Trump and Pecker.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Enquirer published a string of allegations against Trump’s rivals, such as stories claiming Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was a bisexual “secret sex freak” and was kept alive only by a “narcotics cocktail.”
Stories attacking Trump rivals or promoting Trump’s campaign often bypassed the paper’s normal fact-checking process, according to two people familiar with campaign-era copy.
But back to the doorman, Sajudin…
Just as Stormy Daniels passed a polygraph in telling the story of her affair with Trump, Sajudin was subjected to a polygraph, as well, and passed.
To be clear, the polygraph tested how he came to the knowledge of the affair between Trump and the Trump Organization employee, but it was enough that within a week, he was given an amended contract and it paid him the $30,000 immediately, along with detailing the $1 million fine for breaking the terms of the agreement.
So is the story true?
It’s hard to say, given that there’s so much secrecy and such effort to sit on it, along with every other story of Trump’s infidelities.
When contacted, the woman alleged to be the subject of this rumor denied the affair and said the Enquirer had wasted their money.
Then again, if he’s paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to his other mistresses, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’s paying or has paid her, as well, with Cohen drawing up the same sort of nondisclosure agreement.
Further, what’s not to be missed is that if this story is true, there’s the possibility of a sixth, illegitimate Trump heir roaming around New York, right now.