David Pecker Reveals ‘Catch & Kill’ Policy to Bury Negative Trump News

During his testimony, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker acknowledged that his publication engaged in “checkbook journalism” to pay off sources who had negative articles about Donald Trump.

Pecker admitted his involvement in the “catch and kill” plot to assist the Trump campaign in thwarting hit pieces. Because Trump was the most eligible bachelor and dated the most attractive ladies, he thought many women would want to sell their tales to him.

The tale of Pecker’s friendship with Trump, which started with their introduction at Mar-a-Lago in the late 1980s, was the first part of his testimony at Trump’s NYC “hush money” trial.

The then-New York business magnate Trump was interested in a magazine that Pecker had proposed to him, “Trump Style.” Trump would then inform Pecker of developments on “The Apprentice,” a program that Pecker’s magazine subscribers would “religiously” watch.

His former company, American Media Inc., and its portfolio of supermarket tabloids are at the center of the prosecution’s case. Based on their lengthy history together, prosecutors claim that Pecker was involved in a plot to purchase and subsequently bury reports that were detrimental to Trump’s 2016 campaign.

When Cohen contacted Pecker to inform him that “the boss” wanted to meet in August 2015—two months after Trump launched his candidacy—it was a turning point. The three men gathered at Trump Tower, where Cohen and Trump probed Pecker for ways he might “help the campaign.” Cohen planted many of the articles, sending out murky rumors about Trump’s political opponents based on how well they did in debates.

Ted Cruz said Trump spread false and outrageous claims, including that his father was involved in the JFK murder plot, which appeared in Pecker’s publication.

Pecker used Trump’s private jet to visit his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida regularly. When Trump launched his candidacy for president in 2015, he went to Trump Tower to see the iconic journey down the golden escalator.

Ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who both claimed to have had relationships with Trump—a charge that he has categorically denied—are expected to be among the three individuals that Pecker will describe in his upcoming testimony.