Jerry George, who previous worked as Los Angeles bureau chief and a senior editor for the Enquirer, told CNBC that there was “somewhat of a falling out” between American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker and Trump after AMI reached a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors over the company’s decision to “catch and kill” Karen McDougal’s story about an alleged affair with Trump.
“The Bezos divorce ordinarily wouldn’t have been registered on the Enquirer Richter scale other than he is the archenemy of President Trump,” George told CNBC. “So after the Mueller investigation and after AMI became involved in the investigation, there was somewhat of a falling out. I think American Media and David Pecker tried to make amends and brought this divorce story to the President as a means of kissing and making up.”
Former National Enquirer editor says the Bezos divorce story was a way for David Pecker to make amends with President Trump pic.twitter.com/kgELDzJI5z
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 8, 2019
Bezos published an extraordinary blog post Thursday in which he accused AMI of “blackmail and extortion,” claiming the publishing company threatened to expose additional intimate text messages between Bezos and his mistress if the Amazon exec wouldn’t drop his investigation into how the publisher obtained the images.
Trump has often railed against Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, on Twitter.
The board of AMI announced Friday it will investigate Bezos’ claims. Federal prosecutors in New York are also taking a look at the case, according to reports, to see if AMI violated its pledge not to commit any crimes.
Trump has repeatedly directed his ire toward Bezos on Twitter and elsewhere.