FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Have A Child Out Of Wedlock?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

The New Republic claimed in an article that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office determined a Trump Tower doorman was paid $30,000 to hide a story alleging former President Donald Trump had a child out-of-wedlock.

Verdict: Misleading

The Manhattan DA’s office determined that a Trump doorman was paid $30,000 for exclusive rights about the claim in a “catch and kill” scheme. However, there is no evidence that Trump fathered a child, and the woman allegedly involved denied the allegations.

Fact Check:

Trump was charged by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records, according to an Apr. 4 press release. The press release also noted a $30,000 made by American Media (AMI) to former Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajudin for exclusive rights to a story that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock.

The New Republic article is headlined, “Trump Tower Doorman Was Paid $30,000 to Hide Story of Trump’s Out-of-Wedlock Child, Manhattan D.A. Says.” The headline implies that the doorman was paid $30,000 to hide that Trump had an out-of-wedlock child, and the Manhattan DA said the story was true. Social media users also shared the headline and claimed Trump had an out-of-wedlock child.

This claim, however, is misleading. While it is true that the Manhattan DA determined Sajudin was paid $30,000 by AMI for rights to the story in order to suppress the spread of the claim, it did not determine whether or not the story was true. There is nothing in either the indictment or the Statement of Facts that determined Trump fathered the child.

The Trump Tower doorman payment was part of a” ‘catch and kill’ scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects,” according to the April 4 press release. The Statement of Facts shows that AMI concluded the “story was not true.”

“AMI purchased the information from the Doorman without fully investigating his claims, but the AMI CEO directed that the deal take place because of his agreement with the Defendant and Lawyer A. When AMI later concluded that the story was not true, the AMI CEO wanted to release the Doorman from the agreement,” reads the Manhattan DA’s statement of facts.

The New York Times’ annotation of the statement of facts states that the document shows “The Enquirer later learned his story was not true.” (RELATED: Did Alvin Bragg Drop The Charges Against Donald Trump?)

In 2018, The New Yorker did not find any evidence that Trump fathered the child, though it did determine that the National Enquirer, which is owned by AMI, killed the story. The father of the woman allegedly involved said to The New Yorker that the claim was “completely false and ridiculous.”

The woman also denied the rumor that she had an affair with Trump in an interview with The Associated Press.  The woman told The Associated Press that “[t]his is all fake.” The Associated Press also did not find any evidence that the rumor was true. (RELATED: No, This Image Does Not Show A Mugshot Of Donald Trump)

RadarOnline, a sister publication of the National Enquirer, reported in 2018 that the tabloid determined the story was untrue. In a statement to Radar Online, then National Enquirer editor-in-chief Dylan Howard denied allegations that the tabloid was “supposedly ‘catching and killing’ stories about President Trump is a threat to national security.”

The New Republic later changed its headline to “A Trump Tower Doorman Who Said Trump Had a Child Out of Wedlock Was Paid $30,000 in Hush Money.”

“We’ve updated the headline to more accurately reflect the story, which never stated definitively that Trump had a child out of wedlock—only that the doorman had claimed as much,” Ryan Kearney, the executive editor of The New Republic, told Check Your Fact in an email. 

Check Your Fact reached out to an email associated with Sajudin and the Manhattan DA’s office for comment and will update this article if responses are provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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