Heather Mallick: Can Donald Trump be blackmailed over sex?
New Yorker article reveals more disturbing personal details about the U.S. president — but it remains to be seen if any of it will finish him off.
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“I slept w/you because I like you — NOT for money.” So said Karen McDougal to Donald Trump. She may well be the only woman to have ever said this to Trump after sex, or even before. Most women would want hazard pay.
“I was into his intelligence and charm. Such a polite man,” said no one ever. But McDougal did write this in her eight-page document recalling the event, which turned into an affair. Sex is Trump’s Achilles heel, no, bone spur.
Trump had offered McDougal money after dinner and sex in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006; the rotten story told by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker in a stunning piece exploring Trump’s serial hookups in that bungalow, Lake Tahoe, Bedminster, N.J. etc. — basically Trump’s sex tour — and, most interesting of all, what happened after.
Melania, who Trump had married two years before, was home with their baby, Barron. But the affair was a family affair— in that it included Trump’s family.
At a 2007 launch party for Trump Vodka, an eventual product failure, McDougal joined Trump at a table with Donald Trump, Jr. and his pregnant wife Vanessa. (Plus a Kardashian, but that’s a given.)
At a party at the rundown Playboy Mansion — McDougal was in costume as a Playboy bunny — Trump boasted that his son Eric selected her as the most beautiful “girl” present. “Mr T said ‘He has great taste’ + we laughed!” McDougal wrote.
Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, said Trump told her she looked like his daughter Ivanka. This paragraph is turning into a bad situation so there we shall leave it.
Yes, there is a Canadian angle.
Can President Trump be blackmailed? The sword of Damocles used to be a never-seen “pee party” video of Trump in Moscow watching prostitutes urinating on a bed President Obama and his wife had slept on while visiting the city. This would have been a kind of formal retrospective humiliation of the man Trump hated.
But Trump has staged many sexual encounters nationwide. In those days, he was slightly cautious. His private bodyguard Keith Schiller, Farrow wrote, would bring women in, they paid for their own flights and were reimbursed by Trump — so there’s no paper trail — and none of it was a huge deal until Trump ran for office.
Trump’s cronies began to realize that the women might talk publicly. Four days before the election, American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer and other lousy publications, began a tabloid process known as “catch and kill.” It paid McDougal $150,000 (U.S.) for exclusive rights to the story and then never ran it, Farrow reports.
The CEO and chairman of AMI is David Pecker, a personal friend of Trump’s. Farrow reports that “Pecker routinely makes catch-and-kill arrangements” like the McDougal one. It is alleged that Pecker uses these stories as leverage over celebrities. Does he also use them to manipulate Trump?
As one former AMI editor told Farrow, “In theory, you would think that Trump has all the power in that relationship, but in fact Pecker has the power ... He knows where the bodies are buried.”
Pecker sits on the board of Postmedia, which is currently cutting newspapers across Canada down to the bone.
Media companies seeking various kinds of help from Ottawa to survive their ongoing financial catastrophe should be alarmed. In no way can the Canadian government be seen as providing a benefit that would even indirectly fatten the profits of a creature like Pecker. Postmedia is bad enough, but the presence of Pecker is an indelible taint.
As Farrow says, Trump has a system. He uses “clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously” out of sight. Clifford said Trump did not wear a condom. You don’t know where it’s been.
The women who talked to Farrow signed nondisclosure agreements when they were paid off, and they fear speaking out. Many were offered inducements of lucrative work although the work never appeared. Pecker indeed flew McDougal to New York and took her to lunch to thank her for her loyalty.
McDougal dumped Trump in the end, according to Farrow, because his cruelty began to repel her. He called her mother “an old hag” and in reference to her friend seeing an African-American man, said she liked “the big black d---.”
You’d think the last phrase alone would finish off Trump. It will not.