While President Donald Trump was running for office, his personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen quietly reviewed National Enquirer articles and cover photos of Trump and his opponents before they were sent for publication, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
According to people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Post, National Enquirer executives regularly shared digital copies of stories and photos with Cohen. If there were “no objections, the story could be published,” one of the Post’s sources said.
Executives for the National Enquire and American Media Inc. — The Enquirer’s parent company that was just subpoenaed by federal prosecutors earlier this week as part of their probe into Cohen’s business dealings — denied they participated in such a practice.
The custom of sharing stories with Cohen pre-publication could fold into the federal probe of Cohen and a slew of his potential financial wrongdoings, including the possible violation of campaign finance laws. In April, Cohen’s house, hotel and office were raided by the FBI, which seized financial records, including those related to a $130,000 payment he made to a porn actress, who alleged having an affair with Trump, just days before the 2016 election.
Trump was reportedly fascinated with negative stories about his opponents, particularly ones about Hillary Clinton’s health. The people familiar with the matter told the Post that a September 2015 article about Clinton only having six months to live was shared with Cohen before publication. Cohen also spoke with AMI officials about Trump’s other opponents, like Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and other Republican candidates.
The National Enquirer endorsed Trump — who regularly pitches story ideas to the tabloid — in the 2016 election, garnering Trump glowing coverage.
Read the Post’s full story here.