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Trump Scandal Takes Drastic Turn

Trump calls its a Political Hit Job, You Believe Him?

On Tuesday, David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, testified about his role in managing media coverage to favor former President Trump during the 2016 election. Pecker detailed how he actively suppressed negative stories about Trump and promoted negative coverage of Trump’s political adversaries.

His testimony, which lasted about two hours, emphasized Trump’s central involvement in a strategy to buy exclusive rights to any story that might harm his image during his initial presidential campaign. “I would describe [Trump] as very knowledgeable, detail-oriented,” Pecker told the court, characterizing him as a micromanager who scrutinized every detail regardless of the topic.

Pecker, who is a longtime friend of the former president, recounted a meeting with Trump and his then-lawyer Michael Cohen in August 2015. He agreed to boost Trump’s presidential campaign by publishing favorable stories about him and negative ones about his competitors. “I said I would also be your eyes and ears because I know that the Trump Organization had a very small staff,” Pecker explained.

He provided specifics on how he and Cohen, with Trump’s knowledge, intercepted stories about Trump’s alleged extramarital relationships, including one with former Playboy model Karen McDougal and another unverified claim that Trump fathered a child with a former housekeeper. Pecker shared that Cohen had said Trump was prepared to take a DNA test to disprove the latter story and that it would please “the boss” if Pecker could quash it.

Ultimately, Pecker decided to purchase the housekeeper’s story for $30,000—a sum much larger than what the National Enquirer typically paid for celebrity stories—citing the potential embarrassment it could cause to Trump’s campaign.

Pecker is expected to return to the stand on Thursday to offer more details about his involvement in stopping the publication of a story regarding Trump’s alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

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