Why did Trump’s favorite tabloid launch a hit against Manafort the same day FBI raid news leaked?
On Wednesday morning, news leaked that the FBI last month had conducted a pre-dawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia.
Roughly one hour later, the National Enquirer published an article allegedly exposing Manafort being involved in a “sick sex scandal” that involved affairs with women who were significantly younger than his wife.
— National Enquirer (@NatEnquirer) August 9, 2017
The Enquirer hit on Manafort is notable because the tabloid has consistently been a major booster to President Donald Trump — and has not been shy about attacking his perceived enemies.
During the Republican presidential primary last year, for instance, the Enquirer ran a piece alleging that Trump rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had had multiple extra-marital affairs. Similarly, the tabloid this year ran a salacious story about Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that ran at around the same time the couple announced their engagement.
According to Scarborough, the White House had called the couple and told them that the president himself would intervene personally to get the Enquirer to spike its story on them if they publicly apologized on air for their negative coverage of his administration.
Additionally, a Wall Street Journal report from 2016 revealed that the Enquirer paid a former Playboy model $150,000 for her account of an affair that she’d had with Trump — only to completely sit on the story and never publish it.
As if that weren’t enough, actress Selma Hayek last October claimed that Trump had used the Enquirer to plant a phony story about her after she turned him down for a date.
Given the publication’s history of both promoting negative stories against Trump’s enemies and burying stories that make him look bad, its decision to run an anti-Manafort story on the same day the Washington Post revealed an FBI raid on his home is very curious.