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4/13/2018 How a Trump ‘love child’ rumor roiled the media - POLITICO

Why Trump Is Panicking


By RENATO MARIOTTI

Horowitz told POLITICO that the AP “spent a long while reporting out the details of The National Enquirer’s deep-sixing of Trump stories,
and the bigger picture of how it weighed into the 2016 election.”

Indeed, the AP and New Yorker each made clear in their stories there isn’t evidence to support the love-child rumor and their focus was on
Trump’s relationship to AMI and the “capture and kill” practice of removing potentially damaging stories from circulation.

Buzbee cited the recent news about the FBI raid and the McDougal payment as having “bolstered the previous AP reporting.” Now, she
added, “the story met our standards and we published it.”

Other news outlets, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, had also chased the story. The Journal first reported on
AMI buying McDougal’s story days before the 2016 election and broke the news in January that Cohen arranged for the payment to
Daniels. The paper had investigated the love-child story as well, but didn’t publish it.

“We investigated the paternity claim and what we found did not meet our high standards for fair and accurate reporting," a Journal
spokesman told POLITICO. The spokesman noted that the Journal published the McDougal and Daniels stories “in the face of substantial
pushback.”

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet declined to discuss the paper’s handling of the story. “We have been very aggressive and
competitive on this story,” he said. “But as a rule we don't talk about reporting that hasn't been published.” (The Times did run a front-
page story Thursday on how the Enquirer has been swept up in the federal probe of Cohen, though didn’t mention the payment to the
doorman.)

As the AP and New Yorker neared publication, AMI-owned Radar published its story on the payment: “Prez Love Child Shocker! Ex-
Trump Worker Peddling Rumor Donald Has Illegitimate Child.”

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Farrow wrote that the Radar story went online a half hour after he approached AMI for comment for his story. The Radar piece noted
Farrow was calling inside the company. It also included documentation about the payment as well as results of Sajudin’s polygraph. His
passing the test indicates he is being truthful about hearing the rumor, but doesn’t substantiate it.

In a Thursday statement, Sajudin said he was “instructed not to criticize President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship
she had with President Trump which produced a child.”

He did not say who had instructed him, or offer any further details of his agreement with AMI.

Howard defended the Enquirer’s handling of the rumor on Thursday and took a shot at news organizations scrutinizing its actions.

“It is a disconcerting view of the level of hysteria and partisanship in American politics that not reporting a story that multiple media
outlets have now also confirmed to be untrue has become headline news,” he said.

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