The National Enquirer disposed of Trump-related 'dirt' right before he was elected in 2016, journalist Ronan Farrow writes in his new book

Danny Moloshok/Yuri Gripas/Reuters
  • The National Enquirer disposed of sensitive documents related to President Donald Trump before he was elected in 2016, journalist Ronan Farrow writes in his new book, “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.”
  • Though it is not immediately clear what the documents are specifically related to, the order to shred them followed The Wall Street Journal contacting the National Enquirer regarding a story.
  • The Journal reported that American Media Inc. (AMI) – the company that owns the tabloid whose CEO, David Pecker, is a friend of Trump – paid $US150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed she had an affair with the then-Republican nominee, for her story on the relationship.
  • Farrow wrote in his book that Dylan Howard had collected all of the “dirt” regarding Trump that existed in AMI’s archives, and after he was elected in 2016, Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen requested all of AMI’s materials related to his employer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

American Media Inc. (AMI) and the National Enquirer disposed of sensitive documents locked in a safe related to President Donald Trump before the end of the 2016 election, journalist Ronan Farrow alleges in his new book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.”

Though it is not immediately clear what the documents are specifically related to, the order to shred them came after The Wall Street Journal contacted the Enquirer for a story about Trump.

In November 2016, The Journal reported that AMI – the company that owns the tabloid, whose CEO is Trump friend David Pecker – paid $US150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed she had an affair with the then-Republican nominee, for her story on the relationship.

However, the article never ended up being published by the Enquirer. The tabloid never ran the story in a practice known as “catch and kill.”

Though AMI denied making the payment in 2016, saying that the company had “not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump.” The company admitted paying the money to “to ensure that a woman did not publicise damaging allegations about that candidate before the 2016 presidential election and thereby influence that election,” as part of a 2018 non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is currently serving prison time in part due to campaign finance violations related to hush money payments made to McDougal and an adult actress Stormy Daniels.

Former Enquirer editor in chief Dylan Howard allegedly ordered a member of his staff to “get everything out of the safe” and to “get a shredder down there” during the first week of November 2016, according to the book, which is set to release on October 15.


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“The staffer opened the safe, removed a set of documents, and tried to wrest it shut,” Farrow writes his book, per Politico. “Later, reporters would discuss the safe like it was the warehouse where they stored the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones, but it was small and cheap and old.”

Politico reported that another Enquirer employee told Farrow that a disposal crew collected “a larger than customary volume of refuse” that day, the The New Yorker journalist wrote in the book.

Farrow wrote in his book that Howard had collected all of the “dirt” regarding Trump that existed in AMI’s archives, and after he was elected in 2016. Cohen also reportedly requested all of AMI’s materials related to his employer.

“It was only later, when one of the employees who had been sceptical started getting jumpy and went to check, that they found something amiss: the list of Trump dirt didn’t match up with the physical files,” Farrow wrote in the book. “Some of the material had gone missing.”

Representatives from AMI did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. Representatives from the Trump Organisation could not be reached by Business Insider nor Politico.

The Journal received a statement in 2016 from Hope Hicks, who then served as Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, who said McDougal’s claim that she had an affair with Trump was “absolutely, unequivocally” untrue.

An AMI spokesperson told Politico that “Mr. Farrow’s narrative is driven by unsubstantiated allegations from questionable sources and while these stories may be dramatic, they are completely untrue.”

Read the full article on Politico »

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