Probably not going to be socializing with Michael Sanchez any time soon.
By Elizabeth Lippman/The New York Times/Redux.
The National Enquirer’s 12-page spread detailing Jeff Bezos’s affair with Lauren Sanchez, which included private text messages between the two, inspired an obvious yet burning question: who leaked the sexts, and why? Now, a new report from the Daily Beast has seemingly provided an answer: according to multiple sources inside Enquirer parent company A.M.I., the culprit is Sanchez’s Trump-loving brother, Michael Sanchez.
The apparent confirmation comes just days after Bezos’s blog post alleging A.M.I. had attempted to extort him, demanding he drop his investigation into how the Enquirer obtained his texts, and publish a statement denying that the tabloid’s motivations were political, or suffer the consequences (the consequences, in this case, being the release of at least one “d–k pick”). How Michael allegedly obtained the messages between his sister and the Amazon founder is still unclear, and as of late January, he denied having anything to do with the leak. But according to reporter Lachlan Markay his motivations sure sound politically motivated!
Documents reviewed by the Daily Beast show that Michael Sanchez believed the Enquirer pursued its story about Bezos with “President Trump’s knowledge and appreciation”—a chase encouraged, in Sanchez’s estimation, by Republican operatives “who THINK Jeff gets up every morning and has a [Washington Post] meeting to plot its next diabolical attack on President Trump.”
He certainly was a reliable and public supporter of the president. “For anyone too stupid or too bitter to admit Mueller’s pack of @POTUS-hating@TheDemocrats is leading an out-of-control witch hunt, read about @jerome_corsi,” Sanchez wrote in a more-or-less typical tweet. “Muellerism = McCarthyism.” According to The Washington Post, Sanchez said he had heard from A.M.I. staffers that the tabloid operation was in the middle of “a takedown to make Trump happy.”
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for A.M.I., told George Stephanopoulos, “The story was given to The National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to The National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez.” Sources familiar with Bezos’s personal investigation, headed up by security consultant Gavin de Becker, told the Beast that “There is no one inside this inquiry process who doesn’t believe [Sanchez is] ground zero.” (de Becker reportedly interviewed Sanchez as part of his probe.)
Of particular interest are Michael Sanchez’s alleged ties to Roger Stone and Carter Page, both key Trumpworld figures. (Stone is, of course, a former advisor to the Trump campaign who was indicted by the special prosecutor in January. Page was foreign policy adviser to the campaign who has also piqued the interest of Robert Mueller.) According to the Daily Beast, de Becker questioned Sanchez about his communications with both men, as well as with Scottie Nell Hughes, a pro-Trump commentator who now works for the Russian state television network RT. Stone, who was reportedly in contact with Sanchez in the days after the Enquirer story was published, told the Daily Beast that he has never hacked anyone and said that Michael Sanchez is a “very good guy.”
If Sanchez is indeed the leaker, many questions still remain to this dick-pic mystery: Why would he betray his sister? Do his ties to people in Trump’s orbit come into play? And what, if anything, is the “Saudi connection”? (In his Medium post, Bezos noted that A.M.I. has “been investigated for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government,” and noted that the suggestion the Enquirer might be tangled up with the Saudis seemed “to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”)
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