“How’s our girl doing?” Pecker says Trump was worried about election “impact” of alleged affairs

When Donald Trump first learned that his alleged affairs could be exposed to the public, his initial worry was that his wife and daughter would think poorly of him, according to David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher who made hush payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. But, Pecker testified Thursday, Trump’s concerns ultimately shifted towards the implications for his 2016 presidential campaign.

Before the election, Pecker said, Trump would express concerns that his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka would find out about the alleged affairs with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other women. “Prior to the election, if a negative story was coming out with respect to Donald Trump and we spoke about it, he was always concerned about Melania, he was concerned about Ivanka, he was concerned about what the family my hear or say about it, not saying whether it was true or not,” Pecker said.

Once he embarked on his presidential campaign, however, Trump mentioned his family less frequently. The concern was no longer “what his family would say,” Pecker testified, “but the impact it would have upon the election.”

After the election, Pecker continued, Trump expressed his gratefulness to him for hiding the stories. “How’s our girl doing?” he once asked, referring to McDougal, a Playboy model who had been paid to keep quiet about her alleged tryst with Trump.

When prosecutor Joshua Steinglass asked Pecker why Trump was grateful to him for hiding the affairs, Pecker paused momentarily as Trump glared at him from across the courtroom. Then he responded that Trump believed “the stories would be very embarrassing.”