President Trump’s longtime personal fixer Michael Cohen is said to have threatened US Weekly into killing a 2013 story on Donald Trump Jr’s alleged affair with singer and reality star Aubrey O’Day, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the WSJ‘s reporting on the shell company Cohen set up to pay off Trump’s alleged one-night stand Stormy Daniels and a Playboy model reportedly impregnated by former RNC fundraiser Elliott Broidy, Cohen managed to shut down a story on Don Jr.’s alleged extramarital relationship with Celebrity Apprentice contestant O’Day. Cohen is also believed to have worked behind the scenes on a so-called “catch and kill” agreement that American Media, Inc brokered with former Playboy model and self-proclaimed Trump mistress Karen McDougal.
Sources speaking to the WSJ claimed that US Weekly’s staff had what they felt to be a solid lead on a possible Don Jr. affair, but they were met with legal threats from Cohen when they reached out to the Trump Organization for comment. From the WSJ:
They received a call back from Mr. Cohen, who threatened legal action and became so irate that they muted the call while he spoke, one of these people said.
“We were all on speakerphone and huddled around the phone,” this person said. “He was just one of these New York characters where he was just like swearing at us and totally over-the-top threatening.”
The magazine’s staff didn’t believe it was a big story that would be worth a legal fight and had a good working relationship with the elder Mr. Trump on stories related to the TV show “The Apprentice,” so they dropped the story.
“Irate” seems to be the Cohen’s default setting when dealing with journalists writing stories that are unflattering to his boss. Former Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak found that out first hand while reporting a story in 2015 on alleged abuse Trump’s first wife Ivana suffered, as detailed in the 1993 biography The Lost Tycoon. The comments Cohen reportedly made when Mak called for comment are alarming. From The Daily Beast:
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
Perhaps Cohen used some of that same material on the US Weekly staff?