National Enquirer Publisher AMI Consulted Justice Department on Saudi Ties: Report

American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, sought advice last year from the Justice Department over whether it should register as a foreign agent after publishing a pro-Saudi magazine, The Wall Street Journal reports. Connections between the National Enquirer and Saudi Arabia were again thrust into the spotlight after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launched an investigation into how the tabloid obtained private photos and texts with his mistress, Lauren Sanchez. In a bombshell blog post detailing the investigation and accusing AMI of blackmailing him, Bezos wrote that the “Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.” AMI’s pro-Saudi magazine, which was on U.S. newsstands last year, celebrated the country’s controversial crown prince. The publishing company has also looked for financial backing from Saudi investors, according to the Journal report. An attorney for AMI Chief Executive David Pecker denied the company was extorting Bezos, and said the source of the information for the Bezos coverage “was not Saudi Arabia.”