Earlier this year, Playboy model Karen McDougal revealed that she and President Trump had an affair in 2006, shortly after his marriage to Melania Trump. "I can tell you we saw each other a minimum five times a month, up to bigger numbers per month," McDougal admitted. Around the same time, adult film actress Stormy Daniels sat down for a 60 Minutes interview in which she alleged that in 2006, she had an affair with Donald Trump. She went on to reveal that she was later offered over $100,000 to keep details of her trust with Trump under wraps ahead of his presidential campaign.

President Trump and his team have long maintained that he was not involved in paying off the women. When probed about the matter at a news briefing in March, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said: “With respect to interview, I will say the president strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims and the only person who has been inconsistent is the one making the claims." A new report by the Wall Street Journal suggests that there is evidence that Trump was much more involved than he let on. 

The publication reports that in August 2015, Trump sought the assistance of his friend David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer, in squashing allegations made by McDougal. Pecker's company is said to have issued McDougal over $150,000 in exchange for her silence —an exchange that Trump purportedly knew about and later thanked Pecker for. To silence Daniels, Trump recruited the help of attorney Michael Cohen who alleged Trump urged Cohen to pay Daniels using personal funds after Pecker refused to help.

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