Speed Reads

Circus Trumpsimus

The National Enquirer reportedly paid $150,000 to suppress a story of Donald Trump's infidelity

Because this is the classiest election ever — and really, why shouldn't a tabloid literally inspired by the way people morbidly gawk at car crashes be part of it? — The Wall Street Journal reports that The National Enquirer paid $150,000 to buy the rights to a tale of Donald Trump's marital infidelity and then suppressed it.

The newspaper allegedly made a deal with Karen McDougal, Playboy's 1998 Playmate of the Year, for her account of an affair she claims to have had with Trump in 2006 and 2007, well after he married his third wife, Melania. The Journal says it has obtained documents indicating the story was purchased and then never published, a tactic known as "catch and kill."

A statement from the Enquirer, which endorsed Trump for president, denied quashing the story and instead insisted McDougal was paid for "two years' worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man." The Trump campaign also vehemently denied the allegations, calling them "totally untrue" and claiming ignorance of the entire situation.