Media firm paid $30,000 for story on Trump ‘love child’: report

A former doorman at Trump Tower claimed that US president had a child out of wedlock with his housekeeper in the late 1980s and when he told a reporter about this, he received $30,000 from the National Enquirer in return for the story which the newspaper buried to protect Trump, according to a report first published by The New Yorker on Thursday.

The New Yorker said it had found no evidence to back up the claim by doorman Dino Sajudin that Trump fathered a baby girl. But the editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer Dylan Howard later acknowledged the payment, which was reportedly made in December 2015, in an article published by Radar Online, which is also owned by the same group, American Media Inc (AMI).

AMI confirmed the payment when contacted by AFP.

Citing anonymous sources within AMI, New Yorker said that after buying the exclusive rights to the story, the National Enquirer killed it to protect Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election.

AMI denied the charge, and said it chose not to publish the story because it was not credible.

However, sources within AMI told New Yorker they believe such ‘catch-and-kill’ operations had cemented a “partnership” between Trump and David Pecker, the group’s CEO.

Meanwhile, the former housekeeper in question has denied the affair with Trump. She told the AP it was all fake.

Sajudin’s ex-wife Nikki Benfatto told the New York Daily News that he is in the habit of making up stories.

In August 2016, AMI paid $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal in return for her story that she had a 10-month relationship with Trump. The story was killed days before the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted to making a $130,000 payment before the 2016 election to an adult film actress Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to buy her silence about a sexual relationship she claims to have had with Trump.

Trump has denied having any relationship with the the two women. On Monday, he was shaken when FBI agents raided Cohen’s New York office and seized incriminating files including those related to the payment to Daniels.

Officials investigating 2016 presidential election may examine whether there was a pattern in these pay-offs and more such women were involved and if these acts amounted to crime.