Interest is growing in the activities of a tabloid increasingly entwined with Trump

It has all the ingredients to make a classic National Enquirer tale: the world’s richest man, salacious leaked text messages, a feud between a press baron and the US president, pictures of a penis, private investigators, the Mueller inquiry, large sums of money, claims of foreign government involvement, accusations of dirty tricks, and an attempt to exert control over a prominent figure using compromising material.

But this time the Enquirer itself is the focus of the story. The boss of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, published an extraordinary public statement on Thursday, accusing the celebrity-driven tabloid of “extortion and blackmail”. The billionaire said the paper, which had already exposed his affair with a TV presenter, had threatened to publish more compromising material unless he publicly declared that its coverage was not “politically motivated or influenced by political forces”.

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Read More The National Enquirer v Bezos: scandal hits the scandal sheet

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