On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday, co-host Mika Brzezinski teased a New Yorker exposé by former network star Ronan Farrow in which former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal said she had a nine-month affair with Donald Trump and that American Media Inc. paid her for the story but never published it.
“The article tells of ‘one woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair,’” said Brzezinski. “We’ll be following up on his reporting here on ‘Morning Joe’ and MSNBC will have coverage on this story throughout the day.”
But that promise was fake news. “Morning Joe” did not revisit the story later in the program — and the network itself hadn’t touched it through roughly 5 p.m. ET, according to the television monitoring service TVeyes.
It’s unclear why “Morning Joe” abandoned the story or why it didn’t make air again on Friday. An MSNBC spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
Late Friday afternoon, after TheWrap had contacted MSNBC for this story, “Deadline: White House” host Nicolle Wallace did briefly mention McDougal — as well as another Trump accuser, former porn star Stormy Daniels — but without offering detail or naming the New Yorker or Farrow.
The piece received significantly more coverage at CNN, with mentions on “The Lead With Jake Tapper,” “At This Hour With Kate Bolduan,” “CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin,” and “New Day.”
Fox News also mostly ignored the story on its airwaves, with just one mention, per TVeyes, on “Fox & Friends.”
Ronan Farrow was once a star on MSNBC, but his relationship with the channel noticeably soured after his first New Yorker story last October detailing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein.
Farrow had initially prepared the piece to run on NBC and the former primetime host had completed months of research by the time the network told him to abandon the project.
Farrow ultimately shopped the piece to the New Yorker, which published the article widely credited with helping to ignite the #MeToo movement.
His latest New Yorker scoop, published early Friday morning, detailed McDougal’s claims of an extramarital affair with Trump roughly two years into his marriage with third wife Melania Trump (and coinciding with the time Daniels has said she was seeing the then-mogul and reality TV Star).
Through a White House spokesperson, Trump has denied having an affair with McDougal.
McDougal also said National Enquirer owner AMI paid her $150,000 in August 2016 for exclusive rights to her story but never published it; AMI CEO David Pecker has described himself a good friend of the president’s.