Donald Trump Was In the Room

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Did Donald Trump personally meet with David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, to ask him to pay hush money to women he’d had sex with? Yesterday I was unsure about this because I’d read it in the Daily Mail, not the most reliable source in the media landscape. But apparently they were right. Here’s the Wall Street Journal:

As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request. What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump. Less than a year later, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Pecker to quash the story of a former Playboy model who said they’d had an affair. Mr. Pecker’s company soon paid $150,000 to the model, Karen McDougal, to keep her from speaking publicly about it. Mr. Trump later thanked Mr. Pecker for the assistance.

OK, fine, but this story is dated November 9. Why is it suddenly getting new attention? Did something new get reported on Thursday? It was all over CNN last night:

I’m confused. However, I guess one thing is clear: Donald Trump has been lying about this all along. He was in the room, and he personally directed David Pecker to pay hush money to Karen McDougal.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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