Who is Karen McDougal?
Karen McDougal, 47, was a former nursery school teacher who was “discovered” after winning a swimwear competition.
She became one of the most popular Playboy playmates in the 90s.
What has McDougal claimed?
McDougal has claimed she and Trump engaged in a 10-month extramarital “romantic relationship” in 2006 and 2007, a time period that overlaps with his alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
A friend of McDougal told The Wall Street Journal that an affair between McDougal and Trump lasted for months.
It is also claimed that the pair went to the Miss Universe Pageant at Trump’s invitation.
Karen posted a picture of herself with Trump at the pageant and at another event in Las Vegas.
Trump’s wife Melania Trump gave birth to the president’s youngest son Barron in 2006.
The National Enquirer
On April 18, 2018 The National Enquirer settled Trump-related dispute with Karen McDougal.
McDougal sued in March, asking the court to void their 2016 contract. She believed the magazine paid $150,000 to keep her quiet under the guise of buying the rights to her story.
Why did National Enquirer not publish the story?
Why would American Media Inc., which runs the National Enquirer pay McDougal over $100,000 for her story, only to bury it?
It all comes down to a practice called “catch and kill” among tabloid newspapers. An organization will pay for the rights to someone’s story, only to keep it out of the public eye. In this case, chairman and CEO David Pecker is a Trump ally and was seemingly shielding his friend.
On July 24, 2018, the lawyer for Michael Cohen, previously Trump’s personal attorney, released a tape in which Cohen and Trump are heard discussing how to fund the silencing of a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal.
On the tape Cohen says:
“We’ll have to pay”
To which Trump responds:
“Pay with Cash”
If news that trump had had an affair with McDougal had come out two months prior to the election, normal politics would dictate that it would have been the end of Trump’s campaign.
In this post-truth world few, would consider this news capable of destroying Trump, instead many assume the story will stick around for a day or so, with no coverage from Fox News before being replaced with a new scandal, a cycle that has become more and more depressing.
It seems that there is no news or scandal that can move Trump’s core supporters away from him and his approval rating amongst Republicans is very good.
In 2016, Trump had claimed that he could shoot people on Fifth Avenue and not lose votes, perhaps after all that has transpired this could actually be true.
Finally we come to the Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Investigation into Trump collusion with Russia. It would seem that even if Mueller produces concrete evidence, Trump’s supporters will unlikely be impressed. The problem seems to be that diehard Trump supporters are impervious to any countervailing evidence. Hope therefore rests with those voters who are in the middle and are willing to be moved by demonstrable facts. Those people must still exist.
In the US, November’s midterm elections are coming up. At that moment, the US electorate will have the chance to punish Trump. They will also have it in their hands to restore a set of norms that Trump does not believe in. We are all counting on you!