Weeks prior to the 2016 election, a top Fox News editor eliminated its reporter’s scoop that adult movie star Stormy Daniels apparently had an affair with President Donald Trump, the New Yorker reported Monday.
Diana Falzone, a former entertainment industry reporter for the network, obtained emails in between Daniels and her lawyers revealing that Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen proposed paying Daniels to stay silent. Falzone also validated the affair with Daniels’ former partner and her manager at the time, according to the New Yorker.
“Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] desires Donald Trump to win. So simply let it go,” Ken LaCorte, then a top Fox executive, apparently told Falzone.
Murdoch, the billionaire media magnate, is also the founder and executive chairman of Fox News.
LaCorte, who has given that left Fox, denied that he ever made those remarks to Falzone and informed Mediaite that the story merely hadn’t “passed muster.”
Oliver Darcy, a CNN press reporter and former Company Insider editor, broke the story in January 2018 that Fox shelved Falzone’s story and that Falzone submitted a gender discrimination lawsuit versus Fox in January 2017 after she was benched without an explanation.
Fox also informed Darcy at the time that the network was unable to verify Falzone’s story.
“Like many other outlets, we were working to report the story of Stephanie Clifford’s account in October 2016 about then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump and a possible payment by Trump attorney Michael Cohen,” previous Fox editor Noah Kotch said in a declaration. “In doing our due diligence, we were not able to validate all of the truths and release a story.”
When reached for comment, Fox pointed to LaCorte and Kotch’s previous denials. The network has also denied the claims regarding the discrimination lawsuit.
At the time, Slate and The Daily Monster stated they had likewise been chasing the story, however that Daniels backed out of interviews quickly before the election, according to CNN.
In January 2018, The Wall Street Journal finally broke the story of the alleged affair and payments to Daniels to keep silent weeks prior to the election. The Journal is also a subsidiary of Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corp.
Clifford declares that she had sex with Trump as soon as in 2006, a few months after Trump’s other half Melania gave birth to the couple’s boy, Barron, and continued to see Trump for numerous months. Just 10 days before the governmental election, Cohen organized a $130,000 hush payment to Daniels.
Late last month, Cohen affirmed to Congress that Trump asked him to lie about the affair to Melania.
“He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie to his other half about it, which I did,” Cohen stated, including that he was sorry for lying to the very first woman.
Cohen submitted copies of checks to Congress that he stated prove his claim that Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and the COO of the Trump Organization compensated him for the hush cash payment to Daniels.
“The President of the United States hence composed a individual check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal plan to break campaign finance laws,” Cohen told Congress. “You can find the information of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.”