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June 20, 2019

Billionaire Dem donor in talks to buy National Enquirer: report

April 15, 2019
The National Enquirer is on the auction block, its parent company said. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

A California billionaire with close ties to the Clinton family may be in talks with the owners of the National Enquirer about a possible purchase of the supermarket tabloid.

Democratic donor Ronald Burkle, who specializes in buying beleaguered companies and flipping them for profit, is engaged in in-depth negotiations with the company, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.


The supermarket rag, which has offices in Lower Manhattan, is a favorite of President Trump, but has come under fire for its “catch and kill” practice of securing stories and then killing them in exchange for a fee from subjects facing embarrassment.

The Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., has admitted to prosecutors that it employed the practice when it worked “in concert” with the Trump campaign to buy the story of a woman named Karen McDougal, who said she had sex with Trump. American Media CEO David Pecker cut an immunity deal with the feds in connection with its probe into the matter.

Burkle did not respond to The Times story.

Ronald Burkle is pictured in the East Room of the White House on Oct. 6, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Ronald Burkle is pictured in the East Room of the White House on Oct. 6, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

American Media LLC put the 93-year-old scandal sheet up for sale Wednesday, amid extortion allegations from Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who says the rag tried to threaten him over his affair with a then-married woman.

In January, the newspaper published 11 pages on Bezos’ divorce and included photos of the woman who allegedly ended his marriage.

A month later, Bezos said AMI had tried to “blackmail” him over personal pictures and texts to his mistress that the tawdry tabloid obtained. He alleged that AMI threatened to go public with the details of his affair if he didn’t order The Washington Post, which he owns, to stop an investigation into the murder of one of its columnists in Saudi Arabia.

Bezos is set to meet with federal prosecutors in New York, according to reports.

They’re looking for access to Bezos’ electronic devices, CNN said. They want to check the allegation — made by a private investigator hired by the billionaire to find the source of the leaks of his texts and photos — that Saudia Arabia obtained private information from his phone.

In announcing its intention to sell the National Enquirer on Wednesday, chairman David Pecker said the board is exploring strategic options.

“We feel the future opportunities with the tabloids can be best exploited by a different ownership,” Pecker said in a statement.

With News Wire Services


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