Fake News!

"Catch and kill" aside, David Pecker's testimony made clear the 2016 impact of the Trump-AMI conspiracy.

Fake News!

It wasn't just hush money.

It wasn't just "catching and killing" stories that would reveal the sordid truth about Trump.

It was vicious, evil lies about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Trump's Republican primary rivals Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio.

That's the reality that has been laid bare by David Pecker in his testimony in a Manhattan courtroom over the last few days.

And in reality, the full value Trump received from this election interference conspiracy is far greater than the combined $310,000 paid in cash by AMI and Trump to Karen McDougal ($150,000), a former Trump Tower doorman ($30,000) and Stormy Daniels ($130,000).

The "catch and kill" conspiracy didn't just cost David Pecker and AMI cash. It cost National Enquirer the chance to break not one, but two of the biggest campaign sex scandals in history.

Meanwhile, it could be argued that the combined effect of 35 supermarket tabloid covers trashing Hillary Clinton was not simply priceless, it was truly enough to steal an election.

And Donald Trump knew what he was getting out of the deal. Safe from similar tabloid scrutiny, he championed the Enquirer's coverage of his rivals, even going so far as to say the paper's past coverage of Democratic candidate John Edwards' love-child deserved a Pulitzer.

Cover stories that were near-impossible to avoid

In 2016, even with weekly newsstand sales declining, National Enquirer remained a cultural mainstay thanks to its national visibility at tens of thousands of supermarket checkouts, including distribution at more than 4,700 Walmart stores.

18 covers of AMI tabloids National Enquirer and Globe from 2016, all attacking Hillary Clinton

The Enquirer's distribution model—and screaming headlines—ensured you didn't even have to read beyond the cover to feel bombarded with fake news about Hillary Clinton.

You just had to shop in a supermarket.

The Enquirer knew exactly what it was doing

While the ridiculousness of many of the Enquirer's 2016 cover stories about Hillary is now apparent, many of the same headlines would have been true if written about Trump.

Hillary we were told was: CORRUPT! RACIST! CRIMINAL!


Hillary's health problems included a LUNG CANCER BATTLE! and TWO SECRET STROKES! She also had ALZHEIMER'S and LIVER DAMAGE from alcohol abuse. Things were so bad she only had 6 MONTHS TO LIVE!

And while the Enquirer was burying Trump's own sex scandals, it was slamming non-candidate Bill Clinton for being CAUGHT IN A TEEN SEX RING!

Even at the time, they knew this was election fraud

The hush money payments may have totaled a few hundred thousand dollars. But the media value of the election interference conspiracy was worth millions of dollars to Trump and his campaign.

It also came at a massive cost to the Enquirer, as it turned down every opportunity to turn coverage of Trump and his many scandals into a journalistic goldmine.

David Pecker gave jurors a highly detailed account of the election interference conspiracy he entered into with Donald Trump. He used his control of AMI to turn one of the most visible news brands in the country—one seen each week by tens of millions of voters from big cities to suburbs to small towns—into a tool that helped lifelong criminal Donald Trump defeat the incredibly accomplished Hillary Clinton by attacking her relentlessly with smears and lies, ultimately thwarting her effort to become America's first female President.

As editor Dylan Howard wrote in one 2016 text: “At least if he wins, I’ll be pardoned for electoral fraud.”

The facts are clear. Instead of winning a Pulitzer for covering Trump, the Enquirer conspired with him to steal an election.

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