One of President Donald Trump’s former doormen says that the president had a child out of wedlock with a Trump Organization employee, according to multiple reports Thursday. But as salacious as the story is, the most shocking part may be that the several news outlets sat on the story for months without publishing it.
Here are the basics: In 2015, the National Enquirer paid Trump’s former doorman Dino Sajudin $30,000 for the story about Trump’s extramarital affair and child, but the magazine never published it. The Associated Press investigated the matter in August 2017, but it was unable to confirm the truth of Sajudin’s claims, so it sat on the story. Then, on Thursday, the AP, the New Yorker and the Washington Post all published stories focusing on the Enquirer’s concealment of Sajudin’s story.
The story of Trump’s secret child may well be false. According to the AP, the employee Trump allegedly fathered a child with denies Sajudin’s story entirely. Sajudin’s ex-wife told the New York Daily News that her ex-husband is a frequent liar. None of the outlets that investigated the Sajudin’s story have been able to independently confirm it.
But this is not the first time the Enquirer or its parent company, American Media, Inc., which is run by friend of the president David Pecker, allegedly paid a source to keep quiet about a Trump story. That helps make even a dubious story news.
Karen McDougal, a former model, says AMI paid her $150,000 to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump. McDougal is now suing for her right to tell the story.
At the same time, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen said he paid Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, $130,000 to conceal an affair she has with Trump in 2006. The president’s former campaign chief executive Steve Bannon told writer Michael Wolff that Trump’s team has silenced “a hundred” women.
And on Monday, the FBI raided Cohen’s office, reportedly in search of documents pertaining to the Clifford and McDougal pay-offs.
With all these other stories about secret payments from the president’s associates making headlines, the Associated Press decided to finally publish the piece about Sajudin this week, and the floodgates opened.