Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to broker legally questionable deals to secure a political advantage are facing unprecedented scrutiny. But those deals didn’t start with Ukraine and Joe Biden. In the first of a two-part series about the sprawling saga of Trump’s alliance with the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc., we look at a secret deal between a presidential candidate and a tabloid empire—and the first instance during the campaign of a practice called “catch and kill.” It’s a stranger-than-fiction investigation of an unproven rumor and the very real transaction that buried it, featuring a former accountant named Pecker, a former bodyguard named Calamari, and the first extensive interview with the former Trump Tower doorman at the heart of the story.
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