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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explains ‘somewhat hilarious’ reason why Trump mistress Karen McDougal is on Men’s Journal cover

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As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted Friday night, the average reader of Men’s Journal typically can expect to see famous men with one of three haircuts when they purchase the magazine.

But their September issue, which the host acquired, offers up something a little different: A photo of Donald Trump’s alleged former mistress Karen McDougal alongside the small-print promise that readers can learn her workout routine.

“This is kind of a departure for this magazine,” Maddow joked before adding that, “we did have a warning that this was coming.”

In late July, the Wall Street Journal published a report detailing the ways in which American Media Inc., the Trump-connected company that owns the National Enquirer as well as Men’s Journal, is trying to spin an alleged “hush money” payout to McDougal into making it seem like it was a payment to appear on the cover of the men’s magazine.

McDougal’s Men’s Journal cover was published “despite what appeared to be total bewilderment by the magazine’s own staff,” Maddow said. The WSJ‘s July report included descriptions of high-ranking executives at the company urging AMI CEO David Pecker—a man who considers Trump to be a “good friend”— to reconsider the move, which he reportedly ordered. 

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“Nevertheless, there she is,” the host said.

The WSJ, Maddow continued, was also the first to report four days before the 2016 presidential election that in August, AMI had given McDougal a $150,000 contract “that included the exclusive rights to publish her story about having this alleged long-running extra-marital affair with Donald Trump.”

“Having obtained those exclusive rights to publish that story, Ameican Media and David Pecker decided to not run the story,” the host said, noting that it was “widely viewed as what is called a ‘catch-and-kill’ deal” to put McDougal’s allegations of her long-running affair with Trump on ice.

The McDougal story heated back up after a recording of the president’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen discussing paying back AMI with Trump.

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“Federal prosecutors are looking into whether that was an effort to influence the outcome of the election, an effort that was potentially illegally coordinated with candidate Donald Trump and his campaign,” Maddow said.

The existence of McDougal’s AMI cover, the host said, is a “somewhat hilarious step” to make it seem like the $150,000 contract really was a legitimate publishing move — even though Men’s Journal neither did any original photography for the story, nor did its reporters interview her.

Watch Maddow lay it all out below, via MSNBC:

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Man barricaded himself in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office in Queens

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The New York Police Department responded to a Saturday break-in at the Queens office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by a 27-year-old man.

"The alleged trespasser barricaded himself in the 3rd floor office, hiding in a utility closet until police convinced him to come out," WPIX-TV reports.

"The man was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation. Charges against him are pending," ABC 7 reported.

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Trump wants Americans to watch interview where he broke federal law by soliciting foreign election help: ‘Enjoy the show!’

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Despite widespread criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday stood by his comments to George Stephanopoulos -- and hyped an upcoming broadcast of the interview.

"I enjoyed my interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News," Trump claimed.

"So funny to watch the Fake News Media try to dissect and distort every word in as negative a way as possible. It will be aired on Sunday night at 8:00 P.M., and is called, “President Trump: 30 Hours” (which is somewhat misleading in that I personally spent only a small fraction of that time doing interviews. I do have a few other things to do, you know!)," he continued.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican is in deep trouble after trying to defend Trump’s breaking of the law

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President Donald Trump's poor standing in Utah could cause big electoral problems for one of his loudest defenders in the state.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Trump would be "foolish" if he did not illegally accept election help from foreign adversaries.

On Saturday, Stewart was blasted by former CIA officer Evan McMullin.

McMullin was born in Provo, attended Brigham Young University, is Mormon and a also prominent conservative critic of Trump.

In 2016, McMullin ran against Trump as an Independent and received 21.3 percent of the vote in Utah during the general election. Trump also had problems in Utah during the Republican primary, receiving only 14 percent of the vote.

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