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Donald Trump knew of hush payments to Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal

Donald Trump knew of hush payments to Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal

At more than 3,000 words, the Journal's article is the most detailed account to date of Trump's alleged involvement in the payoffs that were made to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels. The Journal said it based its reporting on interviews with three dozen people with "direct knowledge of the events or who have been briefed on them, as well as court papers, corporate records and other documents".

According to the Journal, in an August 2015 meeting at Trump Tower - when the billionaire was a confirmed candidate for the Republican presidential nomination - David Pecker, chief executive of American Media, offered to use his National Enquirer to buy the silence of any women who might try to publicize affairs with Trump.

Federal prosecutors have evidence that President Donald Trump played a key role in hush payoffs that violated campaign-finance laws.

Trump was involved in "nearly every step" of the coordinated efforts to keep the women quiet, in an apparent effort to help his presidential campaign, The Journal found. It alleges that he "directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen", and that the United States attorney's office in Manhattan is gathering evidence about his role. Pecker's company ultimately bought the rights to McDougal's story for $US150,000 but never published anything about it.

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Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, left, looks at her attorney Michael Avenatti, after making a statement to reporters at a federal court in NY, on April 16, 2018.

Cohen said when he was sentenced that he was directed by the candidate - Trump himself - to carry out these acts. The report also said the Manhattan U.S. attorney has evidence of Mr. Trump's involvement with the payments.

Pecker was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in their investigation into Cohen, NBC News reported in August.

Both McDougal and Daniels/Clifford have filed lawsuits to break their non-disclosure agreements and speak about the affairs.


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