‘Get it done’: Trump was involved in ‘nearly every step’ of suppressing stories on alleged affairs and may have violated campaign-finance laws

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

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Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.
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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump played a direct role in hush-money payments to women who say they had affairs with him, and he may have violated campaign-finance laws in the process, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Trump was involved in “nearly every step” of the coordinated efforts to keep the women quiet, in an apparent effort to help his presidential campaign, The Journal found.
  • The president has repeatedly denied playing any role in hush-money payments to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

President Donald Trump played a direct role in hush-money payments to women who say they had affairs with him, and prosecutors have gathered evidence that he may have violated campaign-finance laws in the process, The Wall Street Journal said in a bombshell report published Friday.

Trump was involved in “nearly every step” of the coordinated efforts to keep the women quiet, in an apparent effort to help his presidential campaign, according to The Journal, which cited court documents, corporate records, and interviews with dozens of people.

The president has repeatedly denied playing any role in hush-money payments to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal in 2015. But the US attorney’s office in Manhattan has gathered evidence that Trump was involved in the transactions, The Journal reported.

In August, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, said he made the payments at the direction of Trump and pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations.

Read more: Michael Cohen spent 12 years working for Donald Trump and said he’s seen the president make multiple racist comments

The Journal found that Trump “directed deals in phone calls and meetings with his self-described fixer, Michael Cohen, and others.” Cohen told prosecutors that as Trump discussed the payment to Daniels, he told him, “Get it done,” the newspaper reported.

The report also says Trump enlisted the help of David Pecker, the owner of the National Enquirer tabloid, who offered “to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.” Pecker’s company ultimately bought the rights to McDougal’s story for $150,000 but never published anything about it.

Neither the White House nor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, immediately responded to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Daniels, told Business Insider that The Journal’s report “confirms what we’ve been alleging for over eight months” and proves the president was “deeply involved” in the $130,000 payment to his client.

Avenatti also called for Trump’s “immediate indictment.”

“I hope he’s indicted,” Avenatti said.