WSJ, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: Federal Prosecutors Have Evidence Placing Trump in Central Role in Hush Payoffs

Nov 9, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence that Donald Trump was directly involved in setting up hush payments to women alleging they had affairs with Trump, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Journal’s story is behind a paywall, but it has been picked up by other media outlets, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

WSJ reports that Trump met with David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., in Trump Tower in August 2015, at which time Pecker “offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.”

“Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair,” WSJ reports. “Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it.”

The report adds: “The Trump Tower meeting and its aftermath are among several previously unreported instances in which Mr. Trump intervened directly to suppress stories about his alleged sexual encounters with women, according to interviews with three dozen people who have direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents.

“Taken together, the accounts refute a two-year pattern of denials by Mr. Trump, his legal team and his advisers that he was involved in payoffs to Ms. McDougal and a former adult-film star. They also raise the possibility that the president of the United States violated federal campaign-finance laws.”

The report adds: “The Wall Street Journal found that Mr. Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has gathered evidence of Mr. Trump’s participation in the transactions.”


  1. This is incredible investigative journalism…who gives a sh**, the Clintons paid off multiple women throughout the years.

  2. Amen to that brother! Non-story of the YEAR !!

  3. I don’t understand. If Trump himself never paid any money to these women, and never paid anything back to the people that paid the women, how is it illegal? Doesn’t look good but illegal? The press has got to stop making every real or imagined story about Trump sound as if it’s the worst thing ever. It’s raining outside. It’s all Trump’s fault. My kid got a low SAT test score. Trump again. My car got stuck in traffic this morning. Trump must be is responsible.

    I’m glad we got the House back but I am afraid these stupid constant attacks on Trump will backfire on us. If we don’t back off our daily attacks on Trump, not only will Trump be re-elected but the Republicans will take both houses. Independent voters will tire of it; if they aren’t already. We were supposed to have a HUGE BLUE WAVE. We had dribble of blue urine. Considering the history of mid-year elections, we should have taken a lot more house and senate seats. Obama lost 63 house seats and 6 senate seats during his first mid-year. I’m afraid our tactics have already begun to backfire.

    • Quit trying to pose as a Democrat, you insufferable right-wing nut job. You really think you can convince the American people to give this dangerous buffoon of a man a pass?

      • Sorry Greg, but you know nothing about me. I’ve been a Democrat all my life and I’ll die as one. But I hate us doing and saying stupid things that cause independents to vote Republican. Like your comment, “right-wing nut job”. That’s a really inflammatory comment as if all “right wingers” are “nut jobs”. Really helps us in converting people to vote Democratic when we call them “nut jobs”. And who said anything about giving Trump a pass? Apparently, you didn’t read my entire post. But we shouldn’t continue to blame him for everything. He is doing plenty on his own that we can call him on but if we don’t stop blaming him for everything bad it is going to come back and bite us in 2020. There is a time to attack and a time to let him stew in his own juices. For instance, I’m afraid Senator Diane Feinstein cost us house seats in her last minute pulling out of the sexual assault charges when neither her “victim”, or any of the other alleged victims, could have their stories verified. When none of their stories could be verified, I’m afraid many independent voters realized this was just an attempted political hatchet job and it turned them off. I read projections 3-4 months before the election we’d gain 60 to 70 house seats. We only will get in the mid 30s. Whereas you may think the best strategy is to attack, attack, attack, it’s sometimes better to re-group and consolidate your gains before you launch your next attack.

  4. Regardless of whether it is Trump or Clinton, it is a sad statement about the USA that people think that this type of behavior and corruption is a non-story. The USA deserves better from its leaders regardless of party affiliation.

  5. And you know that the folks who are saying this is no big deal are the same ones who were prattling about how much character counts and the importance of family values prior to 2016.

    Maybe they should at least care about the fact that Trump at his rallies and press conferences and other event repeatedly lied about not doing it, not knowing anything about it, and so on.

    • Among other things, Trump telling his lawyers to deal with it is NOT the same as telling them to pay someone a given amount, so no, it’s not a lie.

      Also, voters elected a President, not a pastor, and sometimes it’s about voting for the far lesser evil of two.

  6. What does this have to do with TV?

  7. Which is NOT illegal, so who cares?

  8. Have to agree with the “who cares” thing. Look at Kennedy, one of them most beloved presidents, also one of the biggest hore dogs. As one poster said, it’s raining it must be Trump’s fault. Everybody’s got to get over this stuff! One other thing, nobody seems to care that the economy is doing great, he at least tries to have talks with North Korea, and he’s been making good on the pledges that he made during his campaign Trail. I don’t know what to think anymore.

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