Jolly Hollywood / Flickr Karen McDougal...
Jolly Hollywood / Flickr

The National Enquirer, the tabloid rag you see in supermarket checkout lines with blaring conspiratorial headlines about, well, anyone famous enough to bother crafting conspiracies about, has been explicitly allied with Donald Trump in his campaign and “presidency” and has, in that period, the headlines to prove it. This is because the company’s CEO, David Pecker, is a personal friend of the Trump Tower garbage fire. It was Pecker who worked to bury the story of one Trump affair, during the campaign—the one between Trump and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

TPM has uncovered another curious tidbit of Pecker’s quest to silence McDougal and protect Trump; after “purchasing” the exclusive rights to her story (and then studiously burying it), when reporters from more reputable organizations started poking into the story his company hired, as the go-between between McDougal and the press, “Trump family associate and crisis communications powerhouse Matthew Hiltzik.”

According to an amendment to the contract between McDougal and AMI that she filed as part of her lawsuit last week, the company hired Hiltzik for a one-month period at the end of 2016 to be in charge of any contacts she had with reporters relating to the alleged affair with Trump. […]

AMI maintains that after that amendment was added, McDougal was free to talk to the press. She and her attorneys disagree, claiming in the complaint filed last week that the company repeatedly ordered her to keep quiet about the affair or face “financial ruin” even after the contract was amended.

TPM reports that despite being hired on for the role, Hiltzik and McDougal never actually spoke during that period. The question, of course, is whether the company explicitly hired a top PR spokesman who just happened to have steady work within the Trump family itself as an attempt to further thwart McDougal’s efforts to come forward with her story, or if it was all just coincidence. Since McDougal is now filing a complaint about that, we may soon find out.

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