The National Enquirer's parent company paid a former Trump World Tower doorman $30,000 several months before the 2016 election to kill an unsubstantiated rumor that could have hurt then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, The Associated Press is reporting.
According to the report, the doorman, Dino Sajudin, received the payout "in exchange for signing over the rights, 'in perpetuity,' to a rumor he'd heard about Trump's sex life — that the president had fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations" headquarters in New York.
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The woman, whom the AP did not name, denied the rumor and called allegations of an affair with Trump "fake."
"The AP has not been able to determine if the rumor is true," the report added.
The payment to Sajudin occurred in late 2015, according to the AP.
Dylan Howard, vice president and chief content officer for AMI, confirmed that the publication paid Sajudin but killed his story because it "lacked any credibility," the AP reported. However, four Enquirer employees told the AP that "they were ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads," the article said.
American Media Inc. is also accused of issuing a $150,000 payment in August 2016 to "catch and kill" the story of ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006, the AP reported. AMI denied the "catch and kill" claim, saying it had paid McDougal to write columns.
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The latest developments come as prosecutors investigate whether Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, "broke banking or campaign laws in connection with AMI's payment to McDougal and a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels that Cohen said he paid out of his own pocket," the AP reported.
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