"He said not to tell anyone": How Trump kept tabs on Epstein

Trump had been following the story closely. In the week or so leading up to his CPAC speech, David Pecker, who owned the Enquirer until it was sold in ruin earlier this year, visited Trump on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, bringing along an issue with a Prince Andrew and Epstein-related cover, according to people familiar with the meeting. Pecker, of course, was in the business of protecting Trump. An early supporter of his presidential campaign, Pecker has helped “catch and kill” at least two stories involving the real estate mogul and women who claimed to have had affairs with him. (Trump has denied the affairs.)

Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who would later go to prison in part for his role in these hush money schemes, was in the room when Pecker sat down. Pecker, he later told me, used to send him articles and issues before they were published so that he and Trump could read them. After the meeting Trump called in Sam Nunberg, then a Trump Organization employee, who saw Pecker leaving Trump’s office. “Michael was sitting in there when I came in, and the issue of the National Enquirer with the pictures of Prince Andrew was on his desk,” Nunberg recalled. “He said not to tell anyone, but that Pecker had just been there and had brought the issue with him. Trump said that Pecker had told him that the pictures of Clinton that Epstein had from his island were worse.” (Cohen, speaking by phone from the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, corroborated Nunberg’s version of the events, though he declined to add any additional information about the meeting.)