Tabloid says it worked with Trump campaign to pay 2016 hush money
NEW YORK The publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper has admitted it paid hush money to a former Playboy magazine model to prevent her from going public ahead of the 2016 election with claims that she had an affair with US President Donald Trump.
Federal prosecutors in New York said on Wednesday that American Media Inc (AMI), as part of a deal to cooperate with prosecutors and avoid charges, admitted it made a US$150,000 (S$205, 630) payment to Ms Karen McDougal "in concert" with Mr Trump's presidential campaign.
AMI said Chief Executive David Pecker met Mr Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and at least one other member of the campaign in August 2015 and offered to help with negative stories about Mr Trump's relationships with women by buying the rights to those stories, according to a document made public by prosecutors.
AMI's admission may support statements made by Cohen that they were made to influence the election in violation of campaign finance law, legal experts said.
Mr Trump and his lawyers have argued the payments were a personal matter unrelated to the election.
A spokesman for AMI declined to comment.
Mr Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump's lawyer, said the president never reimbursed AMI for its payment to Ms McDougal.
Ms McDougal has said she had a months-long affair with Trump years before he took office. - REUTERS