Timing of handwritten notes throws a kink in Trump accuser’s story

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An ex-Playboy model who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006 is being discredited, after it was discovered that her handwritten notes on the alleged relationship were not written in 2006, but either during or after Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The New Yorker came out with their story on former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s allegations last week. A White House spokesperson responded to the claim by stating, “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The president says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”

The parent company of the National Enquirer had reportedly paid McDougal $150,000 for rights to her story in 2016, but then never published it. McDougal reportedly told the Enquirer that she had been offered $1 million for her story, and was also in talks with ABC News.

Fox News reports:

The centerpiece of a New Yorker story on Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Donald Trump, is scribbled notes kept by the former Playboy playmate.

These notes, obtained by journalist Ronan Farrow, are presented as her personal reflections on the relationship –“later memorialized in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to the New Yorker.”

Readers could easily get the impression, as many journalists have, that McDougal wrote these notes during what she describes as a consensual relationship that began in 2006. But that is not the case.

A telltale marking on the entries, reproduced by the magazine, shows that McDougal wrote these pages either during or since the 2016 campaign—relying on memories that were at least a decade old.

The New Yorker does not dispute that McDougal’s notes were written many years after the alleged relationship. Instead, the magazine attempted to tie them to McDougal’s eventual deal with the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. 

“The article does not present Karen McDougal’s written account as being made simultaneously with the events themselves,” a New Yorker spokesperson told me. “Rather, the article makes clear that the idea to sell her story to American Media Inc. first occurred in 2016. Furthermore, her written account is supported by additional sourcing and documentation referenced in the article.” 

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