Omarosa questioned by feds over Cohen ties to National Enquirer publisher: report

Omarosa questioned by feds over Cohen ties to National Enquirer publisher: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE’s former longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen once intervened with the National Enquirer on behalf of Omarosa Manigault-Newman, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Federal investigators have questioned Manigault-Newman, a former Trump official, as they examine the Enquirer's publisher American Media Inc. and its ties to Cohen's financial deals, according to the Journal.

Cohen mediated talks between the Enquirer and Manigault-Newman in 2011 after she threatened to sue regarding its coverage of her brother’s murder.

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AMI had sent a reporter to her brother’s funeral who allegedly spoke to family members without revealing she was a reporter.

The agreement Cohen negotiated stated that Manigault-Newman would not file a lawsuit if she received a job with AMI, the Journal reported based on people familiar with the matter.

The publisher announced in December 2011 that Manigault-Newman, then Manigault-Stallworth, would be the West Coast editor for the company’s magazine on reality programs, Reality Weekly. She later worked for AMI’s OK! Magazine after the first publication shuttered, according to the newspaper.

The Journal noted that federal investigators do not believe there was anything improper about Manigault-Newman’s arrangement with the company.

However, it indicates a pattern of cooperation between AMI and Cohen that may extend to Trump.

Manigault-Newman was also a contestant on Trump's reality show "The Apprentice" and worked in the White House until last year.

Trump’s ties to the publisher have come under scrutiny after reports revealed that AMI bought the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story about her alleged affair with Trump, but never ran the piece. Trump is friendly with AMI head David Pecker.

The New York Times also reported on Sunday that federal investigators believe that AMI occasionally offered political support to the Trump campaign, rather than merely working as a media group.

A recording of Cohen and Trump discussing buying the rights to McDougal’s story from the publisher was obtained and aired by CNN on Tuesday night. Then-Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Hope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony Nadler subpoenas Lewandowski, former White House official for testimony MORE previously said the campaign had no knowledge of the arrangement between McDougal and AMI.

McDougal sued AMI over her deal with the publisher. The parties settled the case earlier this year, releasing her from the agreement previously blocking her from discussing the alleged affair with Trump.