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

An in-flight meal served on a tray

US President Donald Trump was "involved in or briefed on almost every step of the agreements" to pay off multiple women who claimed to have had sexual affairs with him, before was was elected president, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The report documented multiple instances during the 2016 in which the president intervened directly to suppress the stories of women who said they had sexual relationships with him.

Cohen, who implicated the president in his crimes when he pleaded guilty in August, has met with investigators for Mueller and with federal prosecutors in NY, seeking to provide information that could mitigate his punishment.

According to the WSJ, Trump and Cohen worked closely with David Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., and Dylan Howard, American Media's New York-based chief content officer, to purchase the exclusive rights to McDougal's story, in which she claimed to have had an ongoing affair with Trump.

The goal of the hush money was to keep Ms. McDougal and Ms. Daniels from speaking about their alleged affairs with the media. 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.

Trump was involved in or briefed on almost every step of the payments that were made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump, the Journal said.

In mid-2016, Trump requested that Pecker kill a story from McDougal, who'd said she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago, by buying her silence, the Journal said.

President Donald Trump reportedly played a direct role in hush money payments to women with whom he allegedly had affairs, according to evidence gathered by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. Trump, his advisers, and the White House have repeated the denials since. Cohen's lawyer said on MSNBC that his client is willing to share information about Trump with special counsel Robert Mueller.

He added: "I don't think we've heard the end of the details relating to this $130,000 conspiracy undertaken by Donald Trump and Michael Cohen".



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