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The National Enquirer kept a safe of documents related to hush-money payments and other potentially damaging stories about then-candidate Donald Trump, according to a report.
The Associated Press, citing people familiar with the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., reported Thursday that the safe was “a great source of power” for publisher David Pecker — who, in addition to so-called catch-and-kill deals with Trump, would also obtain exclusive rights to embarrassing stories about other people, including celebrities.
The article goes on to state the following:
Pecker would buy the rights to the stories with no intention to publish, but instead use them to get in the subject’s good graces and acquire favors, according to the AP.
“It’s ‘I did this for you,’ now what can you do for me,” Jerry George, a former Enquirer reporter told the AP. “They always got something in return.”
Over fears of liability, the alleged documents were reportedly removed from the safe by Pecker, and the company’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, leading up to Trump’s inauguration following a Wall Street Journal report about a catch-and-kill involving McDougal, the AP reported, citing a person directly faimilar with the events.
What exactly happened to the documents was unclear.
The Enquirer was allegedly involved in hush-money deals with Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen involving porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to shut down allegations of affairs with the Trump.
Sources confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that Pecker struck an immunity deal with federal prosecutors in New York in exchange for information in the investigation into hush-money payments by Cohen.
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— New York Post (@nypost) August 24, 2018
The National Enquirer had a safe full of documents outlining its deals with President Donald Trump, including records of hush-money deals it handled to quash stories, according to a report from the Associated Press. https://t.co/cPeX5F9YXt
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 24, 2018