Written by Ronan Farrow, who broke news about alleged sexual assault committed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the New Yorker story delves into the process of how National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. allegedly played "catch and kill" with McDougal's story. The reporting echoed a Wall Street Journal story from November, mere days before the election, which said AMI paid her for the story of the affair but didn't publish it.
AMI, both articles say, gave McDougal a $150,000 contract to write columns. The New Yorker says AMI has only published nine of almost 100 promised columns. After fees paid to three men involved in the deal, McDougal only ended up with $82,500, according to the story.
The alleged affair, according to the New Yorker, was consensual and began while Trump was married to his third wife, Melania, who is the first lady. Donald and Melania Trump's son, Barron, was a few months old at the time. The magazine said the description of the affair comes from an eight-page, handwritten chronicle that McDougal had written and shared with a friend.
A representative for AMI was not immediately available to respond to CNBC's request for comment. A White House spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House did give the New Yorker the following statement: "This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal."