Amazon's Bezos accuses tabloid of blackmail

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail'

Jeff Bezos pens a blog post suggesting he was blackmailed by National Enquirer

American Media said in an emailed statement that it "believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr Bezos" and made "good faith negotiations" with the United States billionaire but had decided nonetheless to "promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims" by the Amazon CEO.

In one of those emails, Fine proposed Bezos release a mutually agreed upon statement to a news outlet saying that he had no basis for suggesting AMI's coverage was politically motivated.

In the blog post, Bezos pointed to AMI's CEO David Pecker's previous cooperation with Trump, including payments made to suppress negative stories, now under investigation by federal prosecutors.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", wrote Mr Bezos, "I've chose to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten".

American Media Inc (AMI), the owner of the National Enquirer, did not immediately return a request for comment. They'd no longer be exclusively an embarrassment to Bezos, they'd be smoking-gun proof of the Enquirer's allegedly extortionate business practices.

In addition to founding the world's largest e-commerce site, Bezos, is also the owner and benefactor of The Washington Post.

Earlier Friday, AMI said it "acted lawfully" while reporting the story and that it engaged in "good faith negotiations" with Bezos.

But Bezos went further than that, suggesting that AMI may have published the story as a favor to or at the direction of either Donald Trump or the Saudia Arabian government. "It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy", Mr Bezos wrote in the blog post.

In recent months, the Trump-friendly tabloid acknowledged secretly assisting Mr Trump's White House campaign by paying Ms McDougal for the rights to her story about the alleged affair.

Media captionWas Trump's Stormy Daniels payment legal?

Jeff Bezos, a man previously known more for big balls than for BDE, published a rather incredible post today at Medium dot com.

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The deal not to prosecute was conditional on AMI not committing any crime. These included journalist and Associated Press editor Ted Bridis who said he was warned that AMI had hired private investigators to dig into the backgrounds of AP journalists investigating the tabloid and its connections with Trump.

A judge confirmed in a court filing on Thursday that federal prosecutors in NY were still investigating campaign finance crimes committed when Cohen paid two women to stay silent about alleged affairs with Trump before he became president.

'I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out'.

Bezos accused the Enquirer and its publisher David Pecker, a Trump ally, of extortion in a bid to end that probe. He did, however, post something after the initial National Enquirer story posted last month, calling Bezos "Jeff Bozo" and arguing that the tabloid was a more accurate source of news than the Washington Post.

Bezos has portrayed himself as a champion of journalism, but his clash with the Enquirer may put him on some shaky ground.

How did they get the images and messages?

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· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand - while wearing his wedding ring.

And the investigator, Gavin de Becker, looked into whether Pecker's National Inquirer is influence-peddling for Saudi Arabia for some sort of quid pro quo. Michael Sanchez is a pro-Trump Hollywood manager.

Mr Sanchez, a publicist who lives in West Hollywood, has strongly rejected involvement.

Mr.de Becker and his team suspect Michael Sanchez, a talent manager who touts his support of Mr. Trump and is an acquaintance of Trump allies Roger Stone and Carter Page, may have provided the information to the Enquirer, the person said. "In a tweet, he said de Becker "spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories" and "'dog whistle' smears".

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO and David Pecker, Chairman and CEO of American Media, the company behind the National Enquirer.

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