Donald Trump

Tabloid Shielded Trump From Story About Affair

“The company that owns the National Enquirer, a backer of Donald Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with the Republican presidential nominee, but then didn’t publish it,” according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

“The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year. American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, hasn’t published anything about what she has told friends was a consensual romantic relationship she had with Mr. Trump in 2006. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.”

Why Trumpism Will Continue After the Election

New Republic: “There’s been much dispute about whether Trumpism is a passing fad or will have staying power. Trump himself is a senior citizen and has, at best, one more presidential run in him. It’s not clear whether any of his children have the political charisma needed to take over the movement, or whether other politicians (Tom Cotton? Ted Cruz?) would be prepared to remake themselves in Trump’s image.”

“But there is ample reason to think that Trumpism will continue to be a powerful force in the Republican Party simply because Stephen Bannon will be around to promote it. Over the last two years, Bannon has proven himself to be a formidable figure on the right, with both the means and the ambition to alter the political landscape.”

Cruz Stumps for Trump But Won’t Say His Name

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) campaigned for Donald Trump for the first time on Thursday, joining Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the trail in Iowa, but could not bring himself to so much as say Trump’s name, Politico reports.

“Instead, he dedicated his speech to slamming the Affordable Care Act and warning of what Hillary Clinton’s appointments to the Supreme Court would mean for Americans.”

Trump’s Transition Team Emboldened by Polls

“Donald Trump’s presidential transition team has kicked into higher gear as the race for the White House tightens, with a team of conservative Washington policy wonks fleshing out plans to dismantle President Barack Obama’s legacy,” Politico reports.

“What once seemed like a futile exercise in preparing for a government that might never be is suddenly becoming very real for the 100-plus Republicans on Trump’s transition team. The group — made up of an unlikely hodgepodge of conservative think tank fellows, former Mitt Romney advisers and die-hard Trump supporters — has been working at a frenzied pace to put the finishing touches on a road map for the nominee’s first 100 days.”

McConnell Finally Goes All In for Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made his strongest statement yet on his party’s presidential nominee, telling a rally in his home state that “we need a new president, Donald Trump, to be the most powerful Republican in America,” the AP reports.

“McConnell has warned repeatedly that Republicans could lose control of the Senate this year as they are forced to defend a handful of seats in swing states across the country. Since endorsing Trump shortly after he secured the nomination, McConnell has been mostly silent about the nominee so that vulnerable incumbents — like New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte — could distance themselves from Trump and his increasingly erratic comments.”

Woman Will Publicly Accuse Trump of Child Rape

A woman who says Donald Trump raped her as a 13-year-old in the 1990s is planning a press conference at 6 pm ET today.

Huffington Post: “For months, people have wondered why this case isn’t getting more ― or, really, any ― attention in the press, even now that Trump faces an actual court date: a Dec. 16 status conference with the judge.”

Update: Politico reports the woman “abruptly canceled a news conference” today.

Mark Burnett Clamps Down on ‘The Apprentice’ Staff

“Reality-TV kingpin Mark Burnett and his associates say that they aren’t pressuring anyone over a series of damaging leaks about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s behavior on The Apprentice. But three show staffers tell The Daily Beast that’s just not so. According to these sources, Burnett’s office has been warning his staff and Apprentice alumni that if they leak Trump-related news or footage to the press, they are putting themselves in dire professional—and possibly legal—danger.”

Trump Gets Endorsement of KKK Newspaper

“Among the small number of American newspapers that have embraced Donald Trump’s campaign, there is one, in particular, that stands out. It is called the Crusader — and it is the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan,” the Washington Post reports.

“Under the banner ‘Make America Great Again,’ the paper’s current issue devoted its entire front page to a lengthy defense of Trump’s message — an embrace some have labeled a de facto endorsement.”

Trump Used Legally Dubious Method to Avoid Taxes

Donald Trump “proudly acknowledges he did not pay a dime in federal income taxes for years on end. He insists he merely exploited tax loopholes legally available to any billionaire — loopholes he says Hillary Clinton failed to close during her years in the United States Senate,” the New York Times reports.

“But newly obtained documents show that in the early 1990s, as he scrambled to stave off financial ruin, Mr. Trump avoided reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxable income by using a tax avoidance maneuver so legally dubious his own lawyers advised him that the Internal Revenue Service would likely declare it improper if he were audited.”

“Thanks to this one maneuver — which was later outlawed by Congress — Mr. Trump potentially escaped paying tens of millions of dollars in federal personal income taxes. It is impossible to know for sure because Mr. Trump has declined to release his tax returns, or even a summary of his returns, breaking a practice followed by every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate for more than four decades.”

Trump Companies Destroyed Emails In Defiance of Courts

“Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.”

“This behavior is of particular import given Trump’s frequent condemnations of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, for having deleted more than 30,000 emails from a server she used during her time as secretary of state.”