David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media Inc., used the National Enquirer story on Jeff Bezos' affair as a way to make amends with longtime friend President Donald Trump, a former senior editor for the tabloid claims.
The relationship between AMI, owner of the Enquirer, and Trump has been tense ever since the media company agreed last year to cooperate with New York federal prosecutors, according to Jerry George, who spent 28 years at the tabloid, including as senior editor and Los Angeles bureau chief.
The AMI agreement in connection with a hush-money payment given to Karen McDougal, the Playboy model who claims to have had an affair with Trump, caused a "falling out" between Pecker and the president, George told CNBC on Friday.
"The Bezos divorce ordinarily wouldn't be registered on the Enquirer 'Richter scale' other than that he is the archenemy of President Trump," George said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview. "I think American Media and David Pecker tried to make amends and brought this divorce story to the president as a means of kissing and making up."