Donald Trump, Karen Mcdougal, The National Enquirer discussed on Fresh Air
All the parties involved McDougal her lawyer the national enquirer in American media Trump Michael Cohen. Well the national enquirer told us that day did not by a story About Karen McDougal to kill it and that they had paid her or for magazine covers health calms none of which they had actually done So this happened in early August. They had this contract and she's supposed to do these health columns most were now in Early November there were no health columns but essentially they claimed and this was their pre-prepared defense right. When they made this contract they they purposely included these content provision as kind of a smokescreen so that was the the story they gave us? The White House told us A hope Hicks Trump's spokeswoman told us that we know nothing about any of this now she may not have but Trump clearly did so that was not true and Michael Cohen did not contact us. At the time we didn't know he was directly involved in it. But we know now that behind the scenes he was crafting messaging and he was gloating that you know the story which was like right. At the end of the campaign there was a lot going on with Hillary Clinton's emails in trump's victory. So the story didn't really really get that much attention. And and we know Claude Cohen was gloating about that. So if you look at how Karen McDougal and stormy Daniels tried to monetize the the stories of their relationship with trump and then you look at how the national enquirer tried to buy Karen McDougal silence and Michael. Cohen tried to buy stormy Daniels Silence. And then you know like McDougal and Daniels also had their lawyers who are also trying to monetize their relationship so who are the biggest losers losers here and what did they lose and are there any winners outside of the truth of merging. Well I mean I mean your winners you uncovered. Yeah and we're all winners as a result of that. But I mean I I mean not to be sanctimony is about it but like the whole reason for doing the story was to to tell people What happened during the election that they didn't know about at the time when it was happening? which is you know you can be the judge of how important it is to you No who donald trump may have had an affair with but the fact that he and his lawyer and his friends in in the tabloid media were were working to keep information from the voting public during the presidential election like that. I'd say sheds light on how trump operates which is You know what we tried to do in the book was to show. This was a pattern of of covering things up and using people to do it for him. That goes back many years and financially in terms of the characters in this story who are the biggest winners and losers So Michael Cohen obviously serving three year. Sentence US For the crimes connected to the payment among others In carry McDougal and stormy Daniels. You know maybe they it got what they wanted in terms of raising their profile but And Stormy Daniels to still touring right. Now she has her book out But you know she also had a higher security and they were definitely downsides to being thrust in the spotlight like that and I think the same the same is true for for carrying McDougal And actually now stormy stormy Daniels You know she had sued Donald Trump to get out of the agreement originally And then her and Mike Eleven ninety had filed other lawsuits and One of those there's lawsuits a libel lawsuit against against President Trump You know they lost on on on a preliminary emotion and now they owe him attorney's fees and she owes him You know twice as much more than twice as much as she was paid to keep quiet in attorneys fees so Not a winner in that sense so the national enquirer. Because like your reporting and Ronan Farrow's reporting Jeffrey toobin reported on the inquirer however Other people as well have reported on the whole catch and kill aspect of the national enquirer. Both in this story and of course also in the Harvey Weinstein Story. What is the state of the national enquirer now and of its owner American media so so right now now the the inquirer is is on the block. It's After all the reporting that you mentioned and even more recent isn't reporting The national enquirer had reported on on the affair of Amazon founder. Jeff Bezos And BEZOS and trump trump or not trump has made his dislike of Jeff bezos. Very obvious And so immediately after. That story came out There the sort of narrative errative of of David pecker helping Donald Trump is slamming. One of his was Enemies kind of congealed whether it was true or not And and American media's financial backers had basically had enough at that point they were they were done with all the scandals involving inquire And so they put the tabloids Loyd's up for sale But that's still hasn't gone through yet and are Dylan. Howard and David Pecker still in the positions they had during during the election? David Pecker is still the chief executive American media right now Dylan Howard has been moved Over to a less sort of aditorial role At American Media He. He's kind of handling special projects for them right now. One of the thank you both free reporting and for being a guest on our show. Thank you thanks Joe. Pelizzola and Michael Rothfield are the authors of the new book. The fixers the bottom feeders crooked lawyers gossip mongers and porn stars who created the forty fifth. President Pelizzola was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Rothfield is now with the New York Times after we take a short break our book critic Maureen Corrigan will review the new.