David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, is a close friend of Donald Trump. So much so that The Washington Post speculated that the Enquirer ran an article at Trump’s request during his primary campaign, accusing his rival Sen. Ted Cruz of having extra-marital affairs.
So, you can be pretty certain that any article in The Enquirer that quotes “top White House officials” has the imprimatur of the administration.
Now, a new story in the Enquirer has people wondering what’s true and what may be a strategic leak by the Trump administration to cover its treasonous tracks.
The latest issue of the Enquirer has a “world exclusive” cover story that attributes claims that former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen Michael Flynn was a Russian spy to “top White House officials”.
According to Americablog.com, an online political journal founded by The Economist writer John Aravosis, you have to look carefully to understand the true meaning of this story and where it appears.
The important question is why Trump has thrown Flynn under the bus like this.
Avarosis reasons that one possible motivation is that Gen. Flynn has “turned state’s evidence against them”, so the administration is trying to discredit him before any damaging revelations about anyone else, perhaps higher up the food chain, are released.
Since as recently as last week, The White House was still defending Flynn, this sudden change in attitude has to have some significance. Avarosis posits that it could be an attempt to sacrifice Flynn in the hopes that it would settle the matter and put an end to further investigations.
Still Avarosis thinks that there may be another possibility. Perhaps, instead of Trump, someone else in the White House may have leaked the story to the Enquirer to make sure that it got the President’s attention and persuaded him to stop defending Flynn.
“We know Trump considers the Enquirer a reputable news source. If you wanted to convince Trump that Flynn is bad news, you’d go throw a disreputable news source that Trump respects, like the Enquirer, Breitbart or Fox.
But this story is even too incendiary for Fox. So you go to the Enquirer. What if Bannon or some other senior official decided that Trump’s defense of Flynn was damaging Trump? You hand the Enquirer a story they can’t refuse, and hope that it sways Trump.”
If that is actually what happened, the risk is that Flynn, realizing that he’s lost the backing of his former supporters in the administration, starts to sing like a canary unleashed and implicates others involved in colluding with Russia, perhaps even the President himself.
The National Enquirer may have the reputation of being one of the originators of “fake news” before that was even a thing, but occasionally the tabloid breaks some real news stories, like the one that brought down Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards back in 2008.
Whatever the real story behind the leak, it’s obvious that the truth behind Trump’s connections to Russia is getting closer to being uncovered. If what’s been revealed so far is any indication, the facts will be even scarier than the idea that the President of the United States thinks that The Naitonal Enquirer is a credible news source.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.