In October 2016, Fox News was one of the growing number of news outlets who were poised to run a story about then-candidate Donald Trump’s relationship with adult film actress Stormy Daniels — but instead, they chose to shelve the story.
As CNN reported Tuesday, Fox News reporter Diana Falzone filed a story about the alleged relationship between Trump and Daniels (née Stephanie Clifford). The article included “an on-the-record statement from Clifford’s manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, confirming that her client had engaged in a sexual relationship with Trump,” according to three people close to the story, and Falzone “had even seen emails about a settlement.”
The network, however, chose not to run the story — a turn of events that two of CNN’s sources said frustrated the reporter.
“She had the story and Fox killed it,” one of the sources said.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels a $130,000 “hush money” settlement to keep quiet about her affair with the then-candidate in October 2016, around the time when Fox News and other outlets were reportedly courting her story.
Daniels allegedly signed a statement Cohen gave to the Journal claiming she’d never had any romantic or sexual relationship with Trump, but as Slate reported earlier today, she admitted in October 2016 interviews with them that she’d had a nearly year-long affair with him in 2006.
Fox News’ editor-in-chief and digital vice president Noah Kotch said in a statement that although they, “like many other outlets,” had knowledge of the alleged Daniels-Trump affair and were working up a story on it, the network was “unable to verify all of the facts and publish a story.”
Falzone, CNN noted, filed a lawsuit against the network in May 2017 alleging gender discrimination.
“Fox News has denied her allegations and the case is ongoing,” the report said.