The Wall Street Journal: National Enquirer owner, former CEO fined for breaking election law to help Trump in 2016


The publisher of the National Enquirer agreed to pay $187,500 as part of a settlement with the Federal Election Commission over a 2016 scheme to buy and suppress the story of a woman who alleged an affair with former President Donald Trump.

The May 17 agreement between A360 Media LLC and the FEC characterized the $150,000 payment to model Karen McDougal as an illegal corporate campaign contribution. Federal law prohibits companies from making contributions to candidate committees.

A spokesman for A360 Media and David Pecker, the former chief executive of American Media Inc., didn’t have an immediate comment.

The agreement came nearly three years after American Media, the predecessor of A360 Media, admitted as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors that it paid McDougal “in cooperation, consultation, and concert with” one or more members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Pecker, then-CEO of American Media, told prosecutors in 2018 that he took McDougal’s story off the market at the behest of Trump, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. Pecker stepped down as CEO of American Media when it merged with Accelerate 360 LLC, a Georgia-based logistics and distribution business, last year.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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