When news of President Donald Trump’s alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels broke, the headlines actually referenced a reported hook-up that happened years ago. The year was 2006, with Trump’s marriage to now-First Lady Melania Trump just starting out. Their son, Barron, Trump was 4-months-old at the time of the alleged affair, reported NPR.
“Donald Trump’s personal lawyer at one point [allegedly] paid off a pornographic actress [Stormy Daniels] to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.”
Although Donald denied the alleged affair, more details of the alleged encounter with Daniels has emerged, along with various reports about what it means for Trump personally as well as for the presidency. Donald’s use and fondness of tabloid gossip magazines, however, has become a repeated theme in the stories about Trump and Daniels.
Donald Trump’s Affection For Tabloid Gossip Raises Questions About His Affair Denials
Despite denying that he had an affair with Stormy, Donald has a history of being close to tabloid gossip magazines, including the one that ultimately published an account of the alleged affair, pointed out the Washington Post.
“[In 2005, Donald Trump] hosted an event for In Touch, the gossip magazine that this week published a porn star’s claim that the two had sex in July 2006.”
At the event, Trump took on the role of choosing the winner of a sweepstakes hosted by In Touch. As the tabloid’s host, Donald presented the check to the winner, with the decorations in the room combining the magazine’s logos with Trump’s then-reality TV show, The Apprentice.
Because Donald has historically shown support for and associated with tabloid gossip publications, the White House’s attempts to label Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy as “tabloid trash” has sparked questions rather than succeeding in the goal of ending the rumors.
Donald Trump Praises the National Enquirer As Deserving Pulitzer Prize
When Donald was campaigning in 2016, he praised tabloid gossip magazines such as the National Enquirer, which published allegations that former Senator John Edwards was the father of a child resulting from an alleged affair with a campaign aide. Trump questioned why the National Enquirer hadn’t received the Pulitzer Prize for that story. He also urged that the publication be “very respected.”
There’s a link between the publication that Donald praised, the National Enquirer, and In Touch, the magazine that boasted the details of Donald’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels. Because of Trump’s history of supporting such tabloids, his attempts to deny the affair rumors are seen as weak, according to the Washington Post.
“Trump’s denial [of an affair with Stormy Daniels] is complicated by his history of associating with publications such as In Touch and lending credence to their work.”
During the investigation of Edwards that was so highly praised by Trump, David Perel took on the role of top editor at the Enquirer. During Trump’s presidential campaign, Perel moved into the position of editorial director of In Touch.
“Don’t Bash Donald Trump” Guideline At Tabloids
Adding to Donald’s bond to In Touch, he subsequently wrote a column for a magazine launched by the founding editor of the publication, Richard Spencer. Spencer exited In Touch to head up Reality Weekly for American Media. The chief executive of American Media, David Pecker, has formed a strong bond with Trump.
Pecker recently confessed that he killed off a story about a Playboy model who alleged that she had an affair with Trump. Adding to Donald’s bond to American Media, the company hired Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on The Apprentice, who later worked in Trump’s White House.
When the newest editorial director of In Touch, James Heidenry, was asked why the tabloid didn’t print the interview, he declined to discuss past decisions. However, Heidenry had worked at American Media prior to In Touch, which is known for its “don’t-bash-Trump rule.”
The Atlantic reported that the rumors about Donald and Stormy’s affair reveal the president’s skill in using the media in the same way that tabloid gossip magazines do.
“Trump’s media genius—and he does have an extraordinary sense for commanding attention—is that he operates on pure tabloid instincts.”
Because the interview that In Touch has publicized was conducted in 2011, however, and concerns allegations of an affair with Trump in 2006, the White House repeatedly has referred to the reports as “old and recycled.” But the Atlantic pointed out that even Stormy Daniels’ description of her affair with Donald as “textbook generic sex” is reminiscent of Trump’s own use of tabloid gossip magazines in the past for publicity.