Trump affair scandal with Playboy model shakes up White House on day of Mueller bombshell

Sensational new evidence emerged Friday of a Russian plot to interfere with the American elections 2016 with special counsel Robert Mueller indicting 13 Russian nationals but stopping short of naming any Americans as co-conspirators. Mueller and his team of prosecutors and investigators who have operated away from the public glare delivered the sledgehammer blow on the same day a bombshell report offered new details of the US President allegedly cheating on his post partum wife Melania Trump back in 2006 with a Playboy model.

Read the indictment here.

Playboy model Karen McDougal in a file photo/ REUTERS

Playboy model Karen McDougal in a file photo/ REUTERS

Far from the matter of Russian meddling, Trump’s troubles closer home front are swirling out of control, with Melania Trump increasingly choosing to avoid public appearances with the US President. Even on Friday, she chose to ride separately to the Air Force One as the couple left for Florida. This isn't the first break with tradition. The First Lady has been driving separately to signature events including the President’s first State of the Union address on January 30.

The latest story comes barely days after porn star Stormy Daniels' interview stole the thunder on the same night as Trump’s State of The Union. Last month, celebrity magazine In Touch published a 2011 interview with Daniels in which she details having "textbook generic" sex with Trump. Daniels has allegedly been paid off to stay mum about her ‘affair’ with Trump sending a new catch phrase from tabloid journalism swirling into the mainstream news circuit - “catch and kill”.

Catch and kill, simply put, is the process of acquiring rights to a story with the intention to kill it.

“President Trump has acquired a reputation for paying people off in exchange for sex,” New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow said in interviews as the story exploded on US networks.

Farrow says the the nine month relationship between Trump and Playboy model Karen McDougal ended without drama at the time but McDougal sold her story during the 2016 presidential campaign. McDougal claimed she and Trump had a sexual relationship in 2006, months after Melania Trump gave birth to the US President's youngest son Barron.

Talk about timing - all these news breaks are happening as America prepares for a long weekend and Congress takes a weeklong break from debating immigration.

From the time Mueller was appointed, important despatches from his investigation have come when Trump is leaving Washington. The latest one came as Trump prepared to board Air Force One for Florida where he will be met with sorrow and rage after the latest mass slaughter of innocents in a school.

Trump is seizing one piece of the Mueller indictment and proclaiming victory - using the fact that Mueller has not charged actors in the Trump campaign with any knowledge of Russia’s meddling.

Trump pounced on the report swiftly, claiming vindication.

"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for president," he tweeted.

Yet, with new and deeply damaging patterns emerging from the New Yorker investigation into Trump’s alleged ‘pay-for-sex’ life in earlier years, damage control for Trump on the personal front is only going to get messier from here. The signs are already clear - the First Lady shunned cameras and seems to be raging under the icy visage.

Melania Trump, according to White House sources, is "furious".

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Updated Date: Feb 17, 2018 07:12:15 IST

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