Former doorman was paid $30K to keep quiet over Trump rumor

Former doorman was paid $30K to keep quiet over Trump rumor

Eight months before the company that owns the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to a former Playboy Playmate who claimed she'd had an affair with Donald Trump, the tabloid's parent made a $30,000 United States payment to a less famous individual: a former doorman at one of the real estate mogul's New York City buildings.

Both the woman alleged to have had the affair and the National Enquirer reporter who worked on the story dismissed the ex-doorman's claims as not credible.

Sajudin agreed to give AMI exclusive rights to his story for the payment and he was subject to a $1 million penalty if he violated the terms of the contract.

In a series of early morning raids, federal agents searched for information related to Cohen's work for Trump, including records tied to secret deals with alleged mistresses, media organizations and the 2016 presidential campaign, sources told ABC News. The payment and agreement with Sajudin were reportedly made in November 2015, as Trump stormed the campaign trail and headed toward the White House. The site noted that the AP was among a group of publications that had been investigating the ex-doorman's tip. Emails reviewed by the New Yorker suggested that AMI initially had little interest in the story but upped its offer substantially after Trump won the presidential nomination.

Ms. Benfatto, who was married to Mr. Sajudin for 14 years but told the Daily News she hadn't spoke to him since he threatened her in 2014, said he was constantly name-dropping and gossiping to her, but never mentioned a Trump love child.

Dylan Howard, the Enquirer's top editor and an AMI executive, also explained that the story seemed very interesting in the beginning and would have sold "hundreds of thousands" of magazines, but turned out to be untrue.

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"Sajudin is one fish that swam away", Howard told RadarOnline, an Enquirer sister publication, on Wednesday.

"If there's no money involved with it", he said, "I'm not getting involved".

The publisher of the National Enquirer is pushing back hard after two different reports indicated that the tabloid paid a doorman to keep him quiet about a rumor regarding Donald Trump's sex life. But like McDougal's, the story also never ran, and the parallels with the McDougal and Stormy Daniels payments certainly raise questions about whether the payment was simply an effort to kill it to benefit Trump's campaign - and whether there was any coordination between AMI and Trump attorney Michael Cohen or the Trump campaign. Paying upfront was not the Enquirer's usual practice because it would have endangered the source's incentive to co-operate, he said.

The FBI on Monday, acting on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, raided Cohen's hotel room, office, and NY residence in search of documents related to both Daniels' and McDougal's payments. After a promise of $500, Sajudin took the polygraph test, and the administrator revealed that all his responses were truthful.

For his part, Sajudin confirmed he'd been paid to be the tabloid's anonymous source but insisted he would sue the Enquirer if his name appeared in print.

Sajudin, in a brief interview with The News outside his home in the Poconos, said he was struggling to deal with the sudden attention.

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