President Donald Trump is not remotely trustworthy — although he remains tasked with leading a nation whose actions easily affect the entire world. The Wall Street Journal has revealed in a detailed new report just how much he’s lied over the controversy surrounding hush money that went out to women who he’d slept with. In short, despite his repeated claims of having no knowledge of the arrangements — he did. He was closely involved in the entire process.
The process enveloped the stories of former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels. McDougal’s story emerged first in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, beginning to circulate behind the scenes in mid-2016. She — through lawyer Keith Davidson — approached American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, offering her story for sale. Without tangible proof, they said, they wouldn’t pay more than $15,000 and she went elsewhere.
When those other talks actually got somewhere, AMI rushed back with an offer to buy McDougal’s story for $150,000 — acting according to Trump’s direction. All the way back in 2015 at Trump Tower in New York, the eventual president met with AMI chief David Pecker, who offered to use his publication to silence women who had stories of affairs with him. As time went on the next year dawned, with McDougal’s story on the horizon, now former personal Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen helped handle the minutiae of the deals, but the Journal asserts that Cohen “updated Mr. Trump on developments throughout” the McDougal arrangement process.
He maintained a continued interest in the story, working with Cohen to buy McDougal’s story from AMI in case the Trump-friendly Pecker was no longer able to handle it. They actually came very close to completing that deal, signing a copy and everything — but Pecker demanded Cohen rip it up because they were concerned it would cement them as illegally cooperating with the Trump campaign.
Cohen kept a copy, and federal investigators took possession of it during their widely publicized raid of his home, office, and hotel room earlier this year.
He and Trump were also closely involved in the effort to silence Stormy Daniels. She had originally approached AMI about selling her story, just as McDougal had, but Pecker “didn’t want his company to pay a porn star.” Cohen explained the situation to then-presidential candidate Trump in October 2016, and Trump — despite his eventual denials of knowledge — told his then-lawyer to “get it done.”
Cohen did, eventually using money from a home equity loan because he couldn’t come up with any other option that was either feasible or sufficiently removed from Trump. Those involved wanted the candidate to be free of association with the payment.
The house of cards they built, though, eventually came tumbling down. Government prosecutors determined the hush money represented violations of campaign finance law, and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to two associated crimes — the money to McDougal and that for Daniels. He implicated the president in the process, and we now know, thanks to the Journal, just how overwhelming that implication really is.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot