• Donald Trump's Manhattan hush-money trial is in its second week.
  • On Tuesday, ex-tabloid publisher David Pecker described Trump's prophetic hesitancy over hush money.
  • "It always gets out," Pecker testified Trump told him.

Donald Trump should have gone with his gut on this one.

In the summer before his election, the then-candidate wanted nothing to do with buying the silence of a Playboy Bunny.

Model Karen McDougal was shopping around a story of a love affair with Trump from ten years prior. But Trump was queasy about the required payoff, according to testimony on Tuesday in the former president's Manhattan hush-money trial.

"It always gets out," Trump explained of his hesitancy, according to the trial's first witness, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

Trump's words — and his worries — would prove prophetic.

Not only would news of McDougal's $150,000 payoff eventually "get out," but so would the $130,000 payoff to a second sex-accuser, porn star Stormy Daniels — the very payoff behind Trump's ongoing hush-money trial.

Trump has strenuously denied having an affair with either of the women. Trump has also derided as a political "witch hunt" District Attorney Alvin Bragg's accusations that he falsified business documents to disguise the Daniels payment as "legal fees."

Bragg says the documents were falsified to hide what was actually an illegal campaign expenditure meant to keep 2016 voters from finding out about Daniels.

"I think the story should be purchased and you should buy it," Pecker told jurors, describing what he told Trump about McDougal's accusations during a June, 2016 phone call.

Pecker had been helping his friend Trump for years, he told jurors, through a so-called "catch-and-kill" strategy where dangerous stories would be purchased by the tabloid and "taken off the market" instead of published.

But Trump wanted nothing to do with the McDougal payoff, Pecker said Tuesday, his second day on the witness stand.

"He says, 'I don't buy any stories,'" Pecker testified, describing Trump's reaction to the five-woman, seven-man jury.

"He said, 'Any time you do something like this, it always gets out.'"

Trump indeed kept his fingerprints off the $150,000 in National Enquirer cash that purchased McDougal's silence, prosecutors for Bragg allege. The cash came out of Pecker's pocket.

But Trump is now on trial for a second hush-money payment that prosecutors say has Trump's fingerprints all over it — the payment to Daniels.

Trump used a middleman — his then-fixer and Trump Organization lawyer, Michael Cohen — as bag man to handle the $130,000 transfer, prosecutors say.

Just 11 days before the election, Cohen wired the money — hastily borrowed through a home-equity loan — into a shell company's bank account, and from there to Daniels' lawyer, jurors were told during opening statements.

In an election where just 80,000 votes in three swing states tipped the scales in Trump's favor, voters never heard Daniels' tale — an alleged fling at a Tahoe golf tournament in 2006, when Melania Trump was home nursing baby Barron.

Throughout 2016, his first year in office, Trump falsified 34 Trump Org business documents to disguise the monthly reimbursement payments to Cohen as "legal fees," Bragg alleges.

In reality, the 34 invoices, checks and ledger entries covered up a payment to Daniels that was actually an illegal campaign expenditure, prosecutors say.

The trial is down on Wednesday. Pecker's direct testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday.

Read the original article on Business Insider