Thursday, June 27, 2019
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As the questions about Jeff Bezo's explosive proposals emerge, the identity of the tabloid press is confirmed

The mystery of who provided the National Enquirer with information about the romance between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez has sparked many intrigues. Bezos launched an investigation into the matter, and the person conducting the investigation said that evidence points to a politically motivated leak. Bezos suggested in a blog post last week that either President Donald Trump or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia might have played a role, or that National Enquirer had acted to please them.
Since then, two other news organizations have reported that Michael Sanchez, brother of Lauren Sanchez, was the first tip. The Daily Beast reported Sunday that Michael Sanchez was the source of the tabloid, citing sources from American parent company American Enquirer, American Media Inc .. The Associated Press said Tuesday that Bezos' investigation had concluded that Michael Sanchez had leaked private text messages between the Amazon founder and Lauren Sanchez.

Michael Sanchez declined on Wednesday to give CNN a record report on whether he was the leader. Previously, he had withheld the Washington Post from playing a role in searching details of the relationship between Bezos and his sister, and told the New York Post that he would not acknowledge such allegations with an answer.

A representative of AMI told CNN on Wednesday that the company "does not comment on sources".

The proposals as to whether Trump or Saudi Arabia may have played a role in uncovering the relationship are unfounded since Bezos featured in a blog post last week detailing his interactions with the National Enquirer.

Last Thursday, Bezos wrote in a media post that the National Enquirer and AMI had tried to blackmail him with explicit photos he had sent to Lauren Sanchez, who had received the tabloid press.

In the blog post Bezos dangled in front of the reader with tantalizing details and mentioned both Trump and Saudi Arabia.

Bezos wrote that his ownership of the Washington Post, which had critically treated both Trump and the Saudi Arabian government, was a "complainer" to him.

In fact, Bezos suggested, although he did not say directly, that the Saudis or Trump, or perhaps both, might have played a role in exposing his relationship with the National Enquirer.

Six days later, Bezos has provided no evidence to support these ideas. Although he made e-mails available to support his blackmail allegations, but the lack of evidence for the other explosive proposals has only increased the interest in the matter.

Report: National Enquirer Publisher asked the Department of Justice if it needed to register as a foreign agent
But it seems that AMI wanted to have connections with Saudi Arabia. Elkan Abramowitz, lawyer for AMI CEO David Pecker, told ABC News that the company had sought funding from the Saudis but had "never received one". Inexplicably, the company printed a glossy magazine for the kingdom in 2018 when aspiring crown prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the US and met with business leaders. According to the New York Times, in July 2017, Pecker hosted a guest with links to the Saudi government for a dinner at the White House.
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's former foreign minister, told CBS News that the government had "nothing to do with the Bezos allegations," and Abramowitz told ABC News that the source of the story was "not Saudi Arabia."

"American Media has no editorial or financial relationship with Saudi Arabia," a company spokesman told CNN earlier this week when he answered questions on this topic.

Given the idea that the Enquirer's investigation was in some way prompted by the Saudis or AMI's desire to connect to the Saudis, a senior senior AMI official told CNN on Wednesday: "We all laugh that It has become a thing because it is a year old, Saudi has never given money to the Enquirer. "

There are also known connections between Trump and AMI. Pecker and Trump have been friends for a long time. During the 2016 election, the Enquirer often targeted Trump's political opponents while providing him with a brilliant coverage. The Enquirer was also involved in a tactic called "catch and kill," which paid for the rights of embarrassing stories about Trump, and never published them. Pecker received immunity last summer to provide federal investigators with information on such hawkish trades.
The person in charge of Bezos' investigation into the matter, Gavin de Becker, told The Daily Beast on Sunday that the first phase of his investigation was completed. This part of the investigation focused on who passed the text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez to the National Enquirer and why.

While De Becker said that he had shared this information with Bezo's lawyers, he refused to give details of the results of his investigation to the public. The Daily Beast reported that it had reviewed documents related to the investigation, but it was not clear whether the documents came from Becker's investigation.

De Becker had previously been quoted in The Daily Beast, stating "strong clues" in his investigation into the leaching of text messages to the National Enquirer "on political motives." He told the Washington Post that it was a "politically motivated" leak that would embarrass Bezos. In both cases, de Becker seemed to provide no evidence for his statements.

Despite multiple requests, De Becker has not sent CNN a comment on the record. A representative from Amazon also declined to comment. He found that the questions did not concern the company. Bezos has no other known speakers to represent him.

Among the questions CNN asked were de Becker and the Amazon spokesperson: why did Bezos mention the Saudis and Trump in his blog post? What were the results of the investigation of de Becker? Will Bezos ever share information about De Becker's investigation with the public?

In his first blog post by Bezos on Thursday, he emailed Dylan Howard, Chief Content Officer of the National Enquirer. Howard described in this email the various photos he said the tabloid was receiving "during our news gathering." These photos included what Howard referred to as a selfie under the belt (otherwise colloquially referred to as a "d * ck pick") and other explicit photos by Lauren Sanchez and Bezos.

Michael Sanchez insisted on CNN on Tuesday – before CNN reported that he was the original source of the National Enquirer – he was told that the investigation "freed him from involvement" in connection with photos of Bezo's "genitals". He said that the information was provided to him by a third party with knowledge of the investigation and that he had not been informed directly that he had been released by investigators.

"I was told that the Amazon investigation showed that I was not involved in the leakage of the D * ck images because I never had access to any D * ck images," he told CNN.

Michael Sanchez also expressed doubts on the accuracy of De Becker's investigation on Tuesday. He told CNN that De Becker had "never asked for my phone, laptop or notes during the investigation" or "identified himself as an investigator." He suggested that Bezos' proposal that the Saudis or Trump could potentially play a role in leaching the text messages to the National Enquirer was an attempt to distract.

Eventually, if Bezos does not give the public more details or evidence of the suspicions he and de Becker seem to have, it could be based on federal agencies. According to two people familiar with the matter, prosecutors at the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York are investigating the National Enquirer's behavior and how the tabloids have dealt with his reporting to Bezos.



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