Donald Trump’s affairs with women had reportedly been kept quiet with some help from the National Enquirer, but that could soon be changing.
Barry Levine, who served as executive editor of the tabloid until 2016, is planning to write a tell-all book about “Trump and his women,” the New York Post‘s Page Six reported. Trump had long maintained a close relationship with David Pecker, the owner of the National Enquirer’s parent company, and reportedly used that to keep his extra-marital affairs under wraps.
That arrangement started to unravel with reports that the company, American Media, paid off Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign to keep quiet about her affair with Trump shortly after the birth of his youngest son. Pecker was granted immunity as part of the investigation into the hush money payments that led to a conviction for Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Trump himself was named in Cohen’s guilty plea, with claims that Trump directed his lawyer to make the payments, but Trump did not face any charges himself.
Cohen’s conviction was related to a payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, but there are signs that there are many more women who were paid to keep quiet about affairs with Donald Trump. As Business Insider reported, former top Trump strategist Steve Bannon told journalist Michael Wolff that Trump’s longtime attorney, Marc Kasowitz, “took care” of 100 women during the presidential campaign.
“Look, Kasowitz has known [Trump] for twenty-five years. Kasowitz has gotten him out of all kinds of jams,” Bannon reportedly said. “Kasowitz on the campaign — what did we have, a hundred women? Kasowitz took care of all of them.”
Trump has also been accused of sexual misconduct by close to two dozen women, including many who said he forcefully kissed and touched them.
The National Enquirer may have helped to bury other potentially damaging stories about Donald Trump, Slate noted. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Trump “poured into the tabloid after his television show Celebrity Apprentice took off in 2002” and the magazine in turn pushed away stories that would paint him in a bad light. There had long been rumors of tapes showing Trump using racist language from his time on the reality television show, but the tapes have remained under wraps.
It was not clear when Barry Levine’s tell-all book about Donald Trump’s secret relationships would be released, or whether it would detail Trump’s relationship with Pecker and the National Enquirer.