Tabloid head wanted to 'protect' Trump from salacious stories

June 14, 2024

Prosecutors say Trump engaged in "election fraud" by having his then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen make a $130,000 payment to Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. "I wanted to protect my company, I wanted to protect myself and I wanted also to protect Donald Trump," Pecker nonchalantly told jurors, providing a clear statement that his efforts with the candidate and Cohen were geared at influencing the presidential election -- which eventually saw the real estate mogul take the White House over Hillary Clinton. "How could this happen, I thought you had this under control," Pecker recalled Trump telling him, before hanging up with no goodbye. As prosecutors wrapped their questioning, Pecker told jurors that despite everything "Donald Trump was my mentor, he helped me throughout my career." Perhaps seeking to avoid violating the order, Trump called Thursday's testimony "breathtaking and amazing," speaking to reporters outside the courtroom.