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Photo: STEPHEN CHERNIN/AFP/Getty Images

"Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity: One woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair," by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker:

The details: In 2006, "Trump and [Karen McDougal, a former Playmate of the Year] began an affair, which McDougal later memorialized in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to The New Yorker by John Crawford, a friend of McDougal’s. When I showed McDougal the document, she expressed surprise that I had obtained it but confirmed that the handwriting was her own."

  • "The interactions that McDougal outlines in the document share striking similarities with the stories of other women who claim to have had sexual relationships with Trump, or who have accused him of propositioning them for sex or sexually harassing them. McDougal describes their affair as entirely consensual."
  • "[H]er account provides a detailed look at how Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously — out of the press."
  • "On November 4, 2016, four days before the election, the Wall Street Journalreported that American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, had paid a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, which it never ran."
  • "Several people close to McDougal argued that such untold stories could be used as leverage against the President."
  • "A White House spokesperson said in a statement that Trump denies having had an affair with McDougal: 'This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.'"

Go deeper...

Go deeper

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

59 mins ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.