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Is Trump using the National Enquirer to blackmail Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough?

This morning, Brzezinski and Scarborough made a startling allegation in a Washington Post op-ed. “This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked,” they wrote. “We ignored their desperate pleas.”

They elaborated on their MSNBC show, Morning Joe, by alleging that the Enquirer repeatedly called Brzezinski’s close friends and her teenage daughters about a story the tabloid magazine falsely claimed to have received from Brzezinski’s ex-husband. Then Scarborough had conversations with the White House where, in Brzezinski’s words, he was told “this could go away.”

The story is all too plausible. Trump is very close to the publisher of the Enquirer, which has become a pro-Trump propaganda sheet. Last year, the actress Salma Hayek alleged that Trump planted hostile stories against her in the Enquirer when she turned him down for a date.