- A top Fox News editor killed its reporter’s scoop that the adult film star Stormy Daniels allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump and was paid off to stay silent, according to multiple news outlets.
- Diana Falzone, a former entertainment industry reporter for the network, “had obtained proof” of the affair and proposed hush payment by October 2016, the New Yorker reported.
- “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” Ken LaCorte, then a top Fox editor, reportedly told Falzone.
Weeks before the 2016 election, a top Fox News editor killed its reporter’s scoop that adult film star Stormy Daniels allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump, the New Yorker reported Monday.
Diana Falzone, a former entertainment industry reporter for the network, obtained emails between Daniels and her lawyers showing that Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen proposed paying Daniels to stay silent. Falzone also confirmed the affair with Daniels’ former husband and her manager at the time, according to the New Yorker.
“Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” Ken LaCorte, then a top Fox executive, reportedly told Falzone.
Murdoch, the billionaire media mogul, is also the founder and executive chairman of Fox News.
LaCorte, who has since left Fox, denied that he ever made those comments to Falzone and told Mediaite that the story simply hadn’t “passed muster.”
Oliver Darcy, a CNN reporter and former Business Insider editor, broke the story in January 2018 that Fox shelved Falzone’s story and that Falzone filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Fox in January 2017 after she was demoted without an explanation.
Fox also told Darcy at the time that the network was unable to verify Falzone’s story.
“Like many other outlets, we were working to report the story of Stephanie Clifford’s account in October 2016 about then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump and a possible payment by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen,” former Fox editor Noah Kotch said in a statement. “In doing our due diligence, we were unable to verify all of the facts and publish a story.”
When reached for comment, Fox pointed to LaCorte and Kotch’s previous denials. The network has also denied the allegations regarding the discrimination lawsuit.
At the time, Slate and The Daily Beast said they had also been chasing the story, but that Daniels backed out of interviews shortly before the election, according to CNN.
In January 2018, The Wall Street Journal finally broke the story of the alleged affair and payments to Daniels to keep silent weeks before the election. The Journal is also a subsidiary of Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corp.
Clifford claims that she had sex with Trump once in 2006, a few months after Trump’s wife Melania gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron, and continued to see Trump for several months. Just ten days before the presidential election, Cohen arranged a $US130,000 hush payment to Daniels.
Late last month, Cohen testified to Congress that Trump asked him to lie about the affair to Melania.
“He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie to his wife about it, which I did,” Cohen said, adding that he regretted lying to the first lady.
Cohen submitted copies of checks to Congress that he said prove his claim that Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and the COO of the Trump Organisation reimbursed him for the hush money payment to Daniels.
“The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws,” Cohen told Congress. “You can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.”
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