FOX News Killed a Story About Trump's Alleged Affair with a Porn Star

The outlet reportedly readied an exposé on the alleged tryst, with on-the-record confirmation, about a month before Trump was elected.

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Jan 17 2018, 5:24pm

Photos of Trump and Clifford by Olivier Douliery (Pool/Getty Images) and Gabe Ginsberg (Getty Images), respectively

Last week, word broke that President Trump's lawyer reportedly paid a former porn star $130,000 to stay silent about an affair she allegedly had with Trump in 2006, while he was married to Melania Trump. But according to CNN, the story could've gone public ahead of the election—had FOX News not killed it.

In October of 2016, FOX News reporter Diana Falzone filed a story about an alleged affair between Trump and Stephanie Clifford, who performed under the name "Stormy Daniels," CNN reports. Sources say Falzone even had an on-the-record statement from Clifford's manager confirming the tryst went down, and had seen emails arranging Clifford's settlement, which was allegedly made a month before the election.

But the story was never published. In a statement to CNN, FOX digital's editor-in-chief and vice president Noah Kotch confirmed that the outlet had been working on a story about the alleged affair and settlement, but decided not to run it.

"In doing our due diligence, we were unable to verify all of the facts and publish a story," Kotch told CNN.

Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen—who allegedly negotiated Clifford's settlement—hasn't denied the payment happened, but told the Daily Beast, "President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels." Cohen has also pointed to a letter he claims Clifford wrote and signed last week explicitly denying she and Trump were more than acquaintances.

According to CNN, Slate and the Daily Beast were also working on stories about the alleged tryst and Clifford's settlement back in 2016, but failed to report them thoroughly enough to print. On Wednesday, InTouch magazine published excerpts from an interview it claims to have conducted with Clifford in 2011, in which she details the sexual encounter. According to the magazine, it corroborated her story with a friend and had the former porn star take a polygraph test at the time of the interview. The tabloid is planning to release the full 5,500-word account later this week.

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