$30,000 rumor? Tabloid paid for, spiked, salacious Trump tip

yet four longtime Enquirer staffers directly familiar with the episode challenged Howard’s product of events. They said they were ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads.

They said the publication didn’t pursue standard Enquirer reporting practices, such as exhaustive stake-outs or tabloid tactics designed to prove paternity. In 2008, the Enquirer helped bring down presidential hopeful John Edwards in part by digging through a dumpster as well as also retrieving material to do a DNA test which indicated he had fathered a child which has a mistress, according to a former staffer.

The woman at the center of the rumor about Trump denied emphatically to the AP last August which she’d ever had an affair with Trump, saying she had no idea the Enquirer had paid Sajudin as well as also pursued his tip.

The AP has not been able to determine if the rumor can be true as well as also can be not naming the woman.

“This kind of can be all fake,” she said. “I think they lost their money.”

The Enquirer staffers, all with years of experience negotiating source contracts, said the abrupt end to reporting combined which has a binding, seven-figure penalty to stop the tipster through talking to anyone led them to conclude which This kind of was a so-called “catch as well as also kill” — a tabloid practice in which a publication pays for a story to never run, either as a favor to the celebrity subject of the tip or as leverage over which person.

One former Enquirer reporter, who was not involved inside Sajudin reporting effort, expressed skepticism which the company could pay for the tip as well as also not publish.

“AMI doesn’t go around cutting checks for $30,000 as well as also then not using the information,” said Jerry George, a reporter as well as also senior editor for nearly three decades at AMI before his layoff in 2013.

The company said which AMI’s publisher, David Pecker, an unabashed Trump supporter, had not coordinated its coverage with Trump associates or taken direction through Trump. the item acknowledged discussing the former doorman’s tip with Trump’s representatives, which the item described as “standard operating procedure in stories of This kind of nature.”

The Enquirer staffers, like many of the dozens of various other current as well as also former AMI employees interviewed by the AP inside past year, spoke on condition of anonymity. All said AMI required them to sign nondisclosure agreements barring them through discussing internal editorial policy as well as also decision-creating.

Though sometimes dismissed by mainstream publications, the Enquirer’s history of breaking legitimate scoops about politicians’ personal lives — including its months-long Pulitzer Prize-contending coverage of presidential candidate Edwards’ affair — can be a point of pride in its newsroom.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Enquirer published a string of allegations against Trump’s rivals, such as stories claiming Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was a bisexual “secret sex freak” as well as also was kept alive only by a “narcotics cocktail.”

Stories attacking Trump rivals or promoting Trump’s campaign often bypassed the paper’s normal fact-checking process, according to two people familiar with campaign-era copy.

The tabloid made its first-ever endorsement by officially backing Trump for the White House. With just over a week before Election Day, Howard, the top editor, appeared on Alex Jones’ InfoWars program by phone, telling listeners which the choice at the ballot box was between “the Clinton crime family” or someone who will “break down the borders of the establishment.” Howard said the paper’s coverage was bipartisan, citing negative stories the item published about Ben Carson during the Republican presidential primaries.

In a statement last summer, Howard said the company doesn’t take editorial direction “through anyone outside AMI,” as well as also said Trump has never been an Enquirer source. The company has said reader surveys dictate its coverage as well as also which many of its customers are Trump supporters.

The company has said the item paid McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate, to be a columnist for an AMI-published fitness magazine, not to stay silent. McDougal has since said which she regrets signing the non-disclosure agreement as well as also can be currently suing to get out of the item.

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