The doorman always rings twice

From the moment we heard about a supposed vault, safe or crypt in the offices of the National Enquirer, where piles of damaging stories about the President’s various indiscretions allegedly collected dust, you just knew that something like this was going to crop up. But I didn’t think it was going to be happening this quickly. Still, now that this one has dropped like a toad at the garden party, we’ll probably have to deal with the Doorman’s Tale.

Dino Sajudin is a former doorman who worked at Trump World Tower and in 2015 he had a tale to tell. It involved an alleged relationship between Donald Trump and a woman, but not a Playboy model or adult actress. He was claiming that the President was once involved with a woman on the housekeeping staff at the hotel. And to make it particularly juicy, the union allegedly produced a child out of wedlock. (NY Post)

A former Trump World Tower doorman said Friday he’s been released from a contract that kept his story — claiming Donald Trump had a love child with a housekeeper — under wraps at the National Enquirer.

The one-time doorman, Dino Sajudin, is now free to discuss the tale once under lock and key of American Media Inc., whose owner David Pecker is a close pal of Trump’s, according to CNN.

Pecker is famous for “catch and kill” stories – paying people for the rights to their potentially embarrassing tales about Trump and keeping the sordid accusations locked away.

“Mr. Sajudin has been unable to discuss the circumstances regarding his deal with American Media Inc. and the story that he sold to them, due to a significant financial penalty,” Sajudin’s lawyer Marc Held told CNN.

So what are the odds that this is true and, if it is, how does this affect the President?

I get the impression that this one could be quickly confirmed if it’s factual, but not so easily debunked if it’s not. A doorman probably knows most of the domestic staff at the establishment and could be privy to plenty of gossip. But since he went to the National Enquirer with his story just as the Trump campaign was ramping up and nobody else got hold of the report we probably don’t want to latch onto it too quickly. The doorman was obviously looking to get paid and most reputable outlets don’t generally do business that way. If the Enquirer wrote him a nice, fat check and then buried the story in the vault, that could explain why we never heard about it before this. The other possibility is that the major newspapers did hear about it but found the details too sketchy to run with it.

If this woman and her child actually exist, shouldn’t they be coming forward rather quickly? One assumes that the doorman must have had a name for the alleged lover so the mainstream press could have tracked her down pretty quickly. But, assuming the story is true, if she’s been kept in in relative luxury for herself and her child she might not be inclined to come out of the woodwork. The alternate possibility is that she never existed and this was indeed nothing more than gossip that the doorman tried to cash in on. As I said, we should know soon enough if it’s true. If it’s false it will settle in as part of the rumor mill, myths, and legends of Trump.

Does this pose any sort of new problem for the President? Even if true, paying someone for an exclusive story (as the Enquirer allegedly did) isn’t illegal. Staying quiet isn’t against the law unless you’re attempting to obstruct justice by hiding a crime. None of that seems to apply here and the actual events would have taken place long before Trump ran for office. All that’s left after that is to ask if such a story will cause voters to levy a political cost on Trump. Seriously? We’ve already had a centerfold and a porn star paraded before the cameras, not to mention the Billy Bush bus tour tapes. Getting a hotel maid in a family way is just another day at the office in those terms.

Having had most of a full day to ponder the question, it seems to me that it doesn’t much matter whether this alleged love child exists or not. People who are prone to believe the worst about the President will likely believe it either way. Those who still supported him as recently as last week are unlikely to have this story shake them. The only remarkable aspect of the story is that we’re once again talking about the National Enquirer like it’s the Wall Street Journal. It’s true they’ve broken some big news on occasion over the years, but they also publish some whoppers on a weekly basis. As with all things in the world of news consumption, caveat emptor.