Trump uses Melania’s birthday to attack ‘rigged’ trial in ‘freezing’ courtroom

David Pecker has painted a tawdry portrait of so-called “catch and kill” tabloid schemes. The tactic is used to prevent a potentially damaging story by buying the rights to it and then killing it through agreements that prevent the paid person from telling the story to anyone else.

Donald Trump’s lawyer, Emil Bove, is digging into the National Enquirer’s editorial process in his cross-examination of Mr Pecker today, to demonstrate to the jury that the tabloid had its own incentives to act on certain political stories. 

To underscore his point, Mr Bove pulled up five unflattering headlines that ran in 2015 about Ben Carson, who ran against Mr Trump in the 2016 GOP primary. 

Mr Bove noted the information was pulled from publicly available information published in other outlets, including The Guardian.

Mr Pecker, who chaired the National Enquirer’s parent company, has acknowledged that it was standard practice at the publication to recycle stories from other outlets with a new slant.

“Because it’s good, quick and cost efficient, and you would’ve done it without President Trump?” Mr Bove asked.

“Um, yes,” Mr Pecker replied.

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