Yet another payout to squash a negative Trump story.

  • According to a report in the Associated Press, the company that owns the National Enquirer offered to pay a former doorman $30,000 for a story about a possible Donald Trump love child.

    The story goes that Dino Sajudin, a former doorman at one of Trump’s buildings in New York City, heard a rumor about the then-presidential-candidate having fathered a child outside of marriage with an employee in the late 1980s. He brought this rumor to several news publications early in the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Ultimately, the National Enquirer agreed to pay Sajudin $30,000 for the rights to his story, but determined it was not credible, and declined to publish it.

    As first reported by Radar Online, Sajudin was to be paid $30,000 when the story was published. When he requested an advance, they agreed to pay him $500 upon completion of a lie detector test, which he took and passed. Radar published an internal Enquirer memo from November 2015, detailing the identity of the woman with whom Trump supposedly had an affair, and that of her daughter, the quote unquote love child who would now be around 30 years old. That woman, whose name we’re not going to reveal, lives and works in northern California.

    Interestingly enough, she’s shared her genetic history publicly, and it’s not as Scotch-German as you’d expect if she was really Trump’s child.

    For what it’s worth, the National Enquirer ultimately determined that the story wasn’t true. Enquirer Editor-in-Chief Dylan Howard said: “When we realized we would be unable to publish, and other media outlets approached the source about his tale, we released Sajudin from the exclusivity clause that had accompanied his $30,000 payment, freeing him to tell his story to whomever he wanted.”

    Now, all of this is big news, not necessarily based on the truth of the rumor — but because of other payments made to sources to keep quiet about stories that could be damaging to Trump.

    Payouts to former Playboy model Karen McDougal by the Enquirer and adult film star Stormy Daniels by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen have dominated the news cycle in recent months. Cohen admitted that he had made a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to not publicly speak about her affair with Trump, though the president himself denied knowledge of this payment. But even if Trump didn’t know about the payment, if it was made on behalf of his campaign, it could constitute a violation of campaign finance laws.

    And American Media Inc, the company that owns the National Enquirer, has been accused of frequently purchasing stories that would be damaging to Trump, and intentionally not running them — a strategy known as catch-and-kill.

    But Dylan Howard, the editor of the Enquirer, denied that the doorman story is an example of catch-and-kill. The public “seems to think this is another example of how The ENQUIRER, by supposedly ‘catching and killing’ stories about President Trump is a threat to national security. We’re flattered by this attention, and wish that it were true. Unfortunately, however, Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away.”

    What do you think? Is this story just a salacious rumor or indicative of a larger problem? Let us know in the comments.

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