The criminal investigation into hush money paid out to two women who allegedly had affairs with Donald Trump has gathered evidence from people very close to the president including former aide Hope Hicks, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reports that the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has gathered more evidence than has previously been disclosed, including information gained from interviews with Hicks and Keith Schiller, Trump’s former security chief. Investigators spoke to Schiller after reportedly learning of calls between him and David Pecker, chief executive of the National Enquirer’s publisher, which has admitted it paid $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep her quiet. Investigators believe Hicks also called Pecker in November 2016, shortly after the Wall Street Journal revealed American Media made the $150,000 payment to McDougal. Investigators reportedly have also obtained a recorded phone call between Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson, a lawyer who represented the two women. Trump denied the women’s claims that they had affairs with him and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
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