I don’t know anything about Jeff Bezos. I don’t know whether he and his wife were already getting a divorce and had begun dating other people or whether the news about his relationship/affair triggered the divorce announcement yesterday. He’s no kid in a cage on the border. But I do not think we can ignore the fact that the story was broken by The National Enquirer and that the Enquirer has served as a personal attack vehicle for the now-President for a couple decades.
One of the guys who now has a cooperating agreement with New York prosecutors over the hush payoffs is one of the bylines on the Bezos story. (That’s Dylan Howard.) Bezos, because he owns The Washington Post, is one of Trump’s top enemies. He’s repeatedly attacked him on Twitter and many more times in other settings.
One would certainly think that the folks at the Enquirer would be cautious about doing Trump’s bidding if they’re in the middle of a major criminal probe, even if they’ve gotten immunity. That makes me question the theory to some degree. But I’m not sure it’s really any reason to think they’d stop their usual practices. There’s no campaign. Presumably, there’s no exchange of money.
Can I prove that this was done at Trump’s instigation or on Trump’s behalf? No. I have nothing else beyond an obvious surmise, the most logical of inferences. Now, it’s certainly true that the Enquirer has a business of affair stories. Maybe this just dropped into their lap. But I think we should be very suspicious.
Here’s Trump chortling about Bezos’s divorce earlier this morning.
Trump on Bezos affair/divorce: “I wish him luck. It’s going to be a beauty.”
Story was broken by publication which has served as Trump’s attack vehicle for two decades. pic.twitter.com/dzYf4HyII1
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 10, 2019