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Ex-Playboy Model Details Alleged Affair With Donald Trump. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 24, 2018 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:13] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta. Up next, the CNN exclusive Anderson Cooper interviews former Playboy model Karen McDougal. One of the women alleging a sexual affair with Donald Trump before he became president a little over a decade ago. We'll get to all of that in a moment.

But first, though, some of the stories making use in CNN. A French policeman hailed as a hero for his role in ending a deadly hostage standoff sadly has died. The interior minister Twitter his photo just a short time ago. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame had persuaded a gunman to let him take the place of one of the hostages inside the supermarket in Trebes where the incident was underway. He was wounded while entering the store and he later died from his wounds.

The gunman was killed by police when they stormed the building after a four-hour standoff. Three others were also killed by the gunman during Friday's attacks.

British authorities have executed a search warrant on the London offices of Cambridge Analytica. There are reports the firm harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge and then used that data for political campaigns including the 2016 campaign of Mr. Trump.

At least 29 people were injured in clashes with police during mass protests in Barcelona. You see the pictures now. These chaotic scenes broke out Friday after the Supreme Court obtained five separatist leaders. Thousands of people turned out to protest the Spanish government legal escalation against Catalan separatists.

So we were telling you about the former Playboy model Karen McDougal, she is speaking out about her alleged 10 months relationship with Donald Trump that began in 2006. She is now suing the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid which she says bought her story in order to kill it by protecting the candidacy of Donald Trump.

The White House denies McDougal's allegations but McDougal stands by her story. She told my colleague Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.


ANDERSON COOPER: If we could just start at the beginning, how did you meet Donald Trump?

KAREN MCDOUGAL, FORMER PLAYBOY PLAYMATE: I met Donald when they were filming "The Celebrity Apprentice" at the Playboy mansion. They were filming there and I was hired as one of the playmates to work at the pool party scene. It was kind of fun, actually. And --

COOPER: You worked for Playboy for some time.

MCDOUGAL: Yes. I -- after becoming playmate of the year, I was required to work so many events with Playboy. And that was one of the events I thought would be fun. And I worked it and there were a lot of women there. We just saw it as a great time and that's who we met.

COOPER: How did you actually meet?

MCDOUGAL: You know, he said hello, like he would to anybody, and then throughout the night, it was kind of obvious that there was an attraction from his part to me. And I kind of just blew it off.

COOPER: You could see him looking at you.

MCDOUGAL: Oh, I could see it. The Playboy bunny, she's like the house mom, so we call her. She actually made a comment like, wow, this guy is really into you. And that's kind of when I started like paying attention. And he was.

I kind of smiled at it, I thought it was kind of cute and funny. And then at the end of the night, you know, after striking up many conversations, we exchanged -- he actually asked me to write his phone -- my phone number down for him to keep.

COOPER: Did you -- you wanted to see him again?

MCDOUGAL: I thought it would be nice to communicate with him and talk to him. I actually at that point didn't consider dating or going out with him. But I just think he's an interesting person. He's brilliant and I like smart minds. And I think that I was interested in the communication for sure.

COOPER: So when was the next communication?

MCDOUGAL: I believe we talked right away on the phone. I think we talked for about a week on the phone before his next visit to L.A. And that was his birthday which I think is June 12th.

COOPER: Would he call you?

MCDOUGAL: He would call me, I would call him. Vice versa.

COOPER: So, you had his phone number?

MCDOUGAL: I have many of his phone numbers, yes.

COOPER: Do you have his direct number for him, or did you have to go through somebody else? MCDOUGAL: I have his direct phone number. I have quite few of the direct phone numbers. I also had his bodyguard Keith's phone number. I had his personal secretary's phone number.


MCDOUGAL: No, at the time, it was Tweetie (ph). I don't know her last name. I just know her Tweetie (ph).

But I have all these phone numbers so I couldn't reach him on one, depending where he was going to be, I would call the other.

COOPER: When he called, did his number show up on the phone?

MCDOUGAL: No, it did not.

COOPER: It would show up as what?

MCDOUGAL: Gosh, it's been so long, but I think it just showed up as a 212. Just 212.

COOPER: Like a blocked number or --

MCDOUGAL: Correct.

COOPER: No caller ID?

MCDOUGAL: Right. Correct.

COOPER: And what were the conversations like?

MCDOUGAL: The conversations were like any other conversation you have with a nice person. We got along great. We had respect for each other. We had fun. We were funny together. We had a good time.

[03:05:04] We would talk about anything and what kind of food do you like, to how's your family? He asked me how my family was, to politics, to anything. Like just normal every day life conversations.

COOPER: When did you actually decide to see him again?

MCDOUGAL: Before -- you mean after June 12th?

COOPER: Yes. After the initial meeting, and after the phone conversations.

MCDOUGAL: After our first meeting on June 12th, I decided to see him again, actually that night, I didn't think I was going to see him again because I was a little bit put off.

COOPER: Wait. I'm sorry. Was the June 12th -- was that the 'Apprentice' event?

MCDOUGAL: No, that was our first, quote/unquote, date.

COOPER: OK. So, I'm sorry. So, tell me about your first date. MCDOUGAL: Our first date, I was told we were going to go to the Beverly Hills hotel for dinner. So, he had told me that Keith, his bodyguard, was going to pick me up at a certain time and he did. And then we were driving over to the Beverly Hills Hotel. And Keith drove around to the back and he said, we have to get out here, because we don't want to walk to the hotel. And at that minute, I'm like thinking to myself, are we going to a room because I thought we were having dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

COOPER: In the actual restaurant?

MCDOUGAL: Right. Well, we did have dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel but in his bungalow instead. We had dinner there for a few hours. We talked for a few hours. We had a great time, we're getting to know each other. We're talking about his birthday, and then as the night ended, we were intimate.

COOPER: When you got to the Beverly Hills Hotel and Keith said, we're not going to go through the lobby, we're going to go -- was it to a room at the Beverly Hills Hotel or a suite or?

MCDOUGAL: It was a bungalow in back.

COOPER: A bungalow.

MCDOUGAL: It's the one he said he always stayed at. And in fact, every time that I met him there, it was the same exact bungalow. And he's called it the nicest bungalow they have. So, I guess that's why he chose that one. But that's where we went every time.

COOPER: Were you concerned when you realized you're not going to go out to dinner and actually going to be eating at the bungalow?

MCDOUGAL: I think that first night I was concerned because I didn't -- I wasn't expecting to go to a hotel room or bungalow, whatever you want to call it. I actually thought we were going to dinner. So, I was a bit concerned, and I think at that moment is when I realized maybe something else is going on.

You know, I'm a smart girl. I probably could have figured it out, but I really wasn't thinking. I think I was so nervous to actually meet with him in general that it kind of just didn't even -- you know, think -- it wasn't my thought process at that moment. I was just too nervous to actually meet him. So --

COOPER: Were you attracted to him?

MCDOUGAL: I was attracted to him, yes. He's a nice-looking man. And, you know, I liked his charisma. I think I love -- you know, got great posture. He's got great posture. And he was nice.

COOPER: So the sex was consensual? Just to be clear.

MCDOUGAL: It was consensual, yes.

COOPER: And what happened afterward? MCDOUGAL: After that night?

COOPER: You said you sort of ended on a strange note. What happened after you had been intimate?

MCDOUGAL: Well, after we had been intimate, he -- he tried to pay me. And I actually didn't know how to take that.

COOPER: Did he actually try to hand you money?

MCDOUGAL: He did. He did. And I said, I mean, I just had this look of, I don't know -- just, I don't even know how to describe the look on my face must have been so sad, because I had never been offered money like that before, number one. But number two, I thought, does he think I'm in this for money or why I'm here tonight? Or is this a normal thing? I didn't know.

But I looked at him and I said, that's not me. I'm not that kind of girl. And he said, oh, and he said, you're really special, and I was like, thank you.

So, I left, actually, got in the car. Keith taking me home and I started crying. I was really sad. It really hurt me. But I went back.

COOPER: Hurt you that I saw you that way?

MCDOUGAL: Yes. Hurt me that he saw me in that light. And he obviously assumed that that's the kind of girl I was, maybe because I was a playmate. I don't know. But --

COOPER: Even though you'd a night of conversation and days of conversations, it hurt you that it boiled down in the end to that.

MCDOUGAL: It did hurt me. It did hurt me. I was crying in the back seat of the car. Like I said, I got home into my apartment and I cried for a lot. I felt really terrible about myself, let alone what he felt, but I felt terrible about myself. And, you know, I got over it, but I felt hurt.

COOPER: Did you think you would see him again?

MCDOUGAL: I didn't. I didn't think I'd see him again. But then when he called, you know, I was in a bad place in my life. I just came out of a bad relationship where I never felt good enough in my relationship, and -- not that that's any excuse, it's not. But I think I was so down on myself that when he called, and he's so sweet, like what everyone sees on TV, I didn't see in that man, because that man was very sweet, very respectful, very loving, very kind and caring. Like that's the man I saw.

COOPER: He's very -- he could be very charming in person.

MCDOUGAL: He's very charming. He's very sweet. His personality to me was, wow, like I loved it. It was great.

COOPER: When was the next time you saw him?

[03:10:04] MCDOUGAL: You know, I'd have to look back at my, I took a journal back in the day, and not for anything in particular, but I -- to this day, I still write down everything I do during the day. That's what I do.

So, if I looked at that, I could find out, but I think it was in that same couple days within a week, because he was in town. When he came to L.A., he was usually there between three, five, six, seven days, and I really saw him.

COOPER: You gave us the journal that you kept. You would write down on days you saw him, you wouldn't write out his full name.

MCDOUGAL: No, I either called him T or D.T., because if anybody found this, I wouldn't want to expose myself or expose him.

COOPER: So there's a number of days here, looks like dozens over the course of time with a small little D.T. and sometimes they're hard to see.

MCDOUGAL: I purposely kind of chicken scratched a lot on there, because I know what I'm writing. And like I said to this day, I still do that with my notes and where I'm at, who I talked to, whatever. I did. I did write that down.

So, did I see him quite a few times? Quite a bit? Absolutely. We spent a lot of time together.

COOPER: And did you tell friends about it at the time?

MCDOUGAL: I did. I told a few friends, and I told my sister. I actually told my mother that I knew him and we talked on a regular basis, but I told her that we were just friends. And she kind of scolded me a little bit, like I hope it's only friends, because, you know, he's married and I'm like, yes, I understand.

My sister actually heard him on the phone, she was with me one time and she -- you know, I couldn't hold the phone because I was busy. So, she put him on speaker and we were just talking. I mean, I didn't care. It's like, she knew anyway.

So, when you have a relationship with somebody, you don't hide it, right? If there's feelings, you don't hide that relationship.

COOPER: Did he ever ask you to hide it?

MCDOUGAL: No, he didn't. Never.

COOPER: So, there was never a conversation of don't tell anybody?

MCDOUGAL: Never. In fact, I think once he asked, does your sister know? And I said, yes, she knows. He's like, oh. So, he wasn't afraid to hide it at all.

COOPER: And you knew he was married. MCDOUGAL: I did.

COOPER: Did he bring up his wife? Did you bring it up?

MCDOUGAL: No, I -- I never brought up his wife. He did once. And that's only time I can remember, when he said she was an intelligent woman. She knew like, I don't know, four or five languages. But other than that, he never talked about his wife, and I never brought it up.

I -- obviously, there's a reason I don't bring her up because I felt guilty about it. So, I -- after never seeing her until the one occasion, I never correlated the two, really. I just kind of out of sight, out of mind.

COOPER: When you met, it was 2006.

MCDOUGAL: Correct.

COOPER: Was this shortly after his son had been born?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, it was.

COOPER: Would he talk about his child, his son?

MCDOUGAL: No. The only thing he said about his son was, isn't the name Barron a nice name? And I said, yes, it is. And I said, how did you choose that name? And he told me, and that's it. There's no conversation.

COOPER: As you enter a relationship, obviously, in any relationship, you start to think about where this is going to go, and how you feel, and -- how did you view it? How did you view the relationship?

MCDOUGAL: You know, going through it, when I look back, where I was back then, I know it's wrong. Like I'm really sorry for that. I know it's the wrong thing to do.

But back in those days -- sorry.


MCDOUGAL: Back in that day, I was a different girl, you know, I had fun. I was in the Playboy scene. I was just enjoying life as much as I could.

And, you know, when I got with him, actually, you know, there was a -- there was a real relationship there. There were feelings between the two of us. Not just myself, not just him. There was a real relationship there.

And I kind of out of sight, out of mind with everything else. And, you know, deep inside, I did have a lot of guilt. But I still continued.

COOPER: You believe, though, that he had real feelings for you? MCDOUGAL: Of course he did, yes. I know he did.

COOPER: He would say that?


COOPER: Were you in love with him?

MCDOUGAL: I was, yes.

COOPER: And do you think he was in love with you?

MCDOUGAL: He was, yes.

COOPER: Did Donald Trump ever say to you that he loved you?

MCDOUGAL: All the time. He always told me he loved me. Yes. Of course.

COOPER: Did he have any nicknames for you?

MCDOUGAL: He would call me 'baby', or he'd call me 'Beautiful Karen'.

COOPER: Would you always see him just in Los Angeles?

MCDOUGAL: No. No, I wouldn't.

I actually went to a golf tournament with him in Lake Tahoe. I went to his golf course in California. I went to his golf course home in New Jersey. I went to his home in New York, and -- trying to think where else. I can't recall right now, yes.

[03:15:10] COOPER: When you say you would arrange to go someplace, how would it be arranged?

MCDOUGAL: I would pay for the flight, I would book it myself. I would book the hotel room if I wasn't staying with him. Usually, I stayed with him, but there's been a couple times where I didn't. And then he would reimburse me. So, if the flight was, I don't know, (INAUDIBLE) throw the number, if the flight $500, he'd give me $500 and say, here's -- you know, take care of the flight and things like that. So --

COOPER: Why would he have you book all the travel and the hotel room?

MCDOUGAL: Well, there's no paper trail.

COOPER: And did you realize that at the time?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, I did.

COOPER: Because he was concerned about it being revealed at some point and there being a paper trail?

MCDOUGAL: Oh, I was told there is no paper trail. I can't say what his reasons were, but I would assume that's the case, yes, yes. COOPER: And Keith Schiller, was he very much involved in this, picking you up, sending messages back and forth, things like that?

MCDOUGAL: I did have a lot of correspondences with Keith. Yes. And I got to know Keith pretty well, like Keith always picked me up, dropped me off, take me to and from, whether it's an event, whether it's Beverly Hills Hotel or wherever we're going, Keith was always involved.

Keith is a nice man. Yes, I got to know him. He's funny.

COOPER: You went to the -- you said you went to a golf tournament in Tahoe.


COOPER: There were other people now who have come forward saying that they also had met with him and had sex with him at that event. Were you aware of any other women?

MCDOUGAL: No, I was not. I mean, I was with him a lot, so I didn't see anything, but could he have stayed a day longer than me? Sure.

COOPER: Did you think that this relationship was going to last for a long time? Did you have --


COOPER: You did?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, I felt it was getting much stronger. You know, there were no gifts ever, but a Christmas gift, I got him a gift. And then he told me the gift he got me was an apartment in New York, but it's being remodeled right now. I never saw the apartment, because I ended up breaking up or ending the relationship, but that was supposedly my gift. I don't know.

COOPER: You went to his actual apartment in Trump Tower.

MCDOUGAL: I did. I didn't know I was going there. I actually had a hotel room in the city at that time. Well, for this trip.

COOPER: What was it like going up to Trump Tower?

MCDOUGAL: I didn't know I was at Trump Tower. We went to the back entrance, so I had no idea where we were going. The back entrance as you know, probably, is more discrete. It's like a little nothing hallway versus like when you walk into the grand -- right?


MCDOUGAL: So we went into the back entrance, and then at that time I realized where we were going, and I said, aren't you afraid to bring me here? He's like, they won't say anything. I'm like OK. So, we went upstairs and we looked around and --

COOPER: To his office or to his apartment?

MCDOUGAL: His apartment. He showed me around.

COOPER: What did you think of the apartment?

MCDOUGAL: It's very gold. No, it's actually quite pretty. The views are amazing. That's a beautiful apartment. They have great taste.

COOPER: And he showed you around the apartment?


COOPER: Did he reference Melania at that point?

MCDOUGAL: He did. We passed a room, and he said it's Melania's room. She likes to have her alone time or to get her way to read or something like that. I'm like, oh, OK. That's when I kind of thought, maybe they're having issues. I didn't ask. It's not my business at that point.

COOPER: How did you feel being in his apartment?

MCDOUGAL: Guilty, very guilty. I kind of didn't -- I couldn't wait to get out of the apartment, actually. I think doing something, doing something wrong is bad enough, and when you're doing something wrong, and you're in the middle of somebody else's home or bed or whatever, that just puts it a little old stab in your heart, and I just couldn't wait to get out of the apartment. I wanted to go back to my hotel room.

COOPER: It made his other life more real, you think?

MCDOUGAL: I was going to say, it made it more real to me, yes. It made it more real.

COOPER: Did you see Barron there?

MCDOUGAL: No, I never saw Barron.

COOPER: So, where's this picture from?

MCDOUGAL: That picture is from the "Apprentice" release party that they had at the Playboy Mansion. So, they filmed it like a month beforehand, which is where I met him, and then they had the release party when the "Apprentice" actually aired. So, that's when that one was.

COOPER: So, this is a picture with Ivanka Trump, Melania Trump, several of your colleagues and yourself.

MCDOUGAL: Correct.

COOPER: Did -- so, was that the first time you met Melania?

MCDOUGAL: It is. And honestly, if you can tell, I tried to keep my distance. I tried to go as far away as I could, just because I felt guilty.

COOPER: Do you think she knew?

[03:20:04] MCDOUGAL: You know, maybe. Maybe. I don't know.

You know, it was told to me that they were arguing that night, and I said, why? And somebody had said, probably because of you. But I don't know if that's a fact or not, so don't quote me on that one.

COOPER: Do you -- there's another picture with, it's you with Eric Trump.


COOPER: Do you know where that is from?

MCDOUGAL: I believe is that's from the Trump Vodka release party that he had, which was within a couple of days of that other party.

COOPER: Did it feel strange to meet his son, Eric?

MCDOUGAL: It did, but he was such a friendly guy, like, again, when you're doing something wrong, you try and push everything out of the way and make it as right as you can in your mind. So I met, you know, all his kids, except for Baron, of course. And I just started to shake it. But now, it gets to me, but then it didn't.

COOPER: Did he ever compare you to any of his kids?

MCDOUGAL: You know, he, he's very proud of Ivanka, as he should be. I mean, she's a brilliant woman. She's beautiful. She's -- you know, that's his daughter, and he should be proud of her.

He said I was beautiful like her and, you know, you're a smart girl. And there wasn't a lot of comparing, but there was some, yes. I heard a lot about her. Yes.

COOPER: Did that strike you as odd in any way, or?

MCDOUGAL: You know, I know a lot of people think it's odd. I -- you know, there's been some comments I've heard in the news he's said about her, I think those comments are wrong. But do I think it's strange that a father would love his daughter so much that he brags about her? No, I brags about my dog that much.

COOPER: I guess -- you know, some people seeing this are not going to believe that you had a relationship, Hope Hicks has said categorically you did not have a relationship, there's no truth to this. When you heard that denial, what do you think?

MCDOUGAL: Well, I think somebody's lying, and I can tell you it's not me. It's a little hurtful, but at the same time, I have to understand, like if he were to told Hope that he didn't do it, I guess I understand, because he's trying to protect his family, his image. Things like that. But, it was definitely a little, like, wow, you're going to lie about that? OK. COOPER: When you heard the stories of Stormy Daniels who has come forward who said that she was at the Tahoe Club as well and others who said that they were there, you didn't know about that at the time.

MCDOUGAL: No, I did not know.

COOPER: Does it -- what do you think when you heard that?

MCDOUGAL: My first thought was how could she have been with him when I was with him? The only time we weren't together on that particular trip was when I -- he was on the golf course golfing. I didn't go, clearly, but I went to every event, every after thing, parties, daytime things, I was there. That's why I can't understand.

Now, I do remember him saying, he came in one day and said, oh, there are a bunch of porn stars out there. They were wanting pictures of me. And I'm like, oh, that's funny, you know, that's cute, whatever. I do remember him saying that, but I can't imagine when he found the time except for maybe the day I left.

So, it's kind of like, wow, how did this happen?

COOPER: Did you think maybe this would lead to a marriage?


COOPER: That's something, though, you liked him enough, that's something you would have liked?


COOPER: Did he, at the time, say, tell you that you were his only girlfriend? Or did that subject --

MCDOUGAL: You know, we never really discussed that. I knew he talked to ladies, but I didn't know there was anything else. I didn't know he was intimate with other ladies. But I guess if he's -- makes sense, if he's doing it behind his wife's back, why would he not do it behind my back? So --

COOPER: But at that time, in the frame of mind you were in then, you felt you were the only other person?

MCDOUGAL: I thought I was the only one, yes, I did. I thought I was the only one.

COOPER: Do you have any text messages, photographs, videos, anything that would dispute the Hope Hicks' statement that this never happened?

MCDOUGAL: Let me just say this: if you're in a loving relationship, do you try and collect evidence?

COOPER: That's not what you were thinking about.

MCDOUGAL: No, not at all. Not at all. In fact, the only thing that I have really is my journal that I keep, and like I said, I still do it to this day. It wasn't out to get anybody or, gosh, get anyone in trouble, but those are my notes. Those are for me.

No, when you care about somebody, you don't try and set them up in any way, shape or form. That's my opinion.

[03:25:11] COOPER: But I'm just wondering if, you know, some couples take a lot of pictures, put them on Instagram or just take pictures for themselves, that wasn't something you two would do.

MCDOUGAL: Privately?


MCDOUGAL: No. No, I wouldn't want anybody to find me in that compromising position, let alone him. But I guess at the time, I kind of felt more about myself. Like I wouldn't want anybody to see pictures of me like that. So, it just so happens that I'm very protective of my image. So, I guess I protected him too without even knowing it.

COOPER: Were you worried about people finding out?

MCDOUGAL: I was for a while.

COOPER: I mean, except your sister and other good friends.

MCDOUGAL: Yes, I was for a while. In fact, there were a couple instances where we were out in public, and he had his hand on my back, and I kept thinking, I'm looking around, there's a lot of people. I'm like, how do these people, like, what are they thinking? I don't know what they're thinking, but I thought it was going to get out.

So, I was scared every time we went to an event. I thought this is going to get out. And I didn't want it to get out.

But at the same time, I felt so honored to be with him in a sense that I'm like -- I don't care who knows. But I didn't want that reputation, either. So it's kind of like the saying, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

COOPER: You're saying you didn't want it to get out because --

MCDOUGAL: I mean, look at the bad things people are saying about me now. I didn't want it then and I didn't want it for him either.

COOPER: I mean, this is a hard question to ask but you said you had sex that first time. All those times you saw him, this was an ongoing sexual relationship.

MCDOUGAL: Absolutely.

COOPER: Can you estimate how many times you actually saw him?

MCDOUGAL: Again, when you're in a relationship, do you count how many times you have sex? No. However, I can tell you we saw each other a minimum five times a month, up to bigger numbers per month. So, we --

COOPER: Over the course of how long?

MCDOUGAL: Over the course of 2006 through I think I ended the relationship April 2007. So, we were together 10 months before I chose to end it. So, we saw each other quite frequently.

COOPER: So, dozens of times you were together.

MCDOUGAL: Many dozens of times, yes.

COOPER: And you were intimate --


COOPER: -- many dozens of times?


COOPER: This is another tough question and again, you don't have to answer it. But it's been raised with other people, did he ever use protection?

MCDOUGAL: No. No, he didn't.

COOPER: Was that something you thought about or it didn't concern you at the time?

MCDOUGAL: You know, we talked about it right beforehand. He was starting to and then he's like, I don't like these things. And, you know, we discussed things. Did you do, blah, blah. We were just honest with each other and we didn't use any.

MCDOUGAL: You talked about ending the relationship. Who ended the relationship?



MCDOUGAL: I was just feeling so guilty. It was just digging inside me. I think the excitement of it took over for a while, and I did care about the man. I'm not going to lie. So, that made it hard to end it.

But I think I just started feeling so bad about myself, like how could I do this to, A., myself, to B, to a family? Whether they get along or not, it's still a family.

I just needed to get out of it. You know, I just needed to get out of it. It's just tearing me apart in a long run.

COOPER: That's a hard thing to do to end a relationship, any relationship.

MCDOUGAL: It was very hard. But I knew I needed to get out.

COOPER: How did you end it? MCDOUGAL: He wasn't in town. And I just, I'm like, this isn't working for me. He's like why not? And I told him, I blamed it on my mom. I said like, I know my mom knows about you, but she would be really, really devastated if she found out we were having a relationship and being intimate together and, you know, the feelings and I don't want to disappoint my mom.

And he said a few words and that was about it. But, you know, it is what it is. We ended it. We didn't talk for a long time again.

We started talking again in 2009. I went to the Miss -- in one of the pageants in Vegas with this girlfriend of mine. We weren't together, but we talked a lot. We went to this room and just chitchatting.

COOPER: He invited you to the pageant?


He got us a room at the Trump Hotel in Vegas, a suite, really nice one. And, you know, there were no intimate relations. I had a boyfriend at the time. So, there was nothing like that at all. And then we stayed in contact for a little bit and then we lost contact.


VANIER: You were watching a CNN exclusive interview with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. One of the women who is alleging a sexual affair with Donald Trump before he became president. We'll bring you more of that interview after this short break.


[03:31:23] VANIER: Hey, I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta. We'll get back to that interview with Karen McDougal shortly. But first, some other stories making news on CNN. France mourning the lost of a policeman hailed as a hero for his role in ending a deadly hostage standoff of Friday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame has persuaded a gunman to let him take the place of a female hostage inside a supermarket in the town Trebes. He was wounded during the attack and later died. Police killed the gunman after a four-hour standoff but the attacker killed three other people during his rampage.

British authorities have executed a search warrant on the London offices of Cambridge Analytica. There are reports the firm harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge and then used that data for political campaigns including the 2016 campaign of U.S. president Donald Trump.

Plus, CNN has learned the U.S. National Security Council will recommend expelling some Russian diplomats from the U.S. The exact number not yet known. The expulsions would be due to the near fatal poisoning n Britain of a former Russia spy and his daughter.

Let's get back to Karen McDougal. She says she and Donald Trump had an affair for 10 months beginning in 2006. The White House says the allegations are totally untrue but McDougal stands by her story. Here's the rest of her conversation with Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: Did you ever think about rekindling your relationship?

MCDOUGAL: Not while he was married. No. Yes, of course, I did. I had feelings for the guy. But no, I couldn't. No, not while he was married. At that point in time, I would never do that again. No.

COOPER: You didn't speak -- I mean, you told friends as anybody would tell friends about a relationship.


COOPER: But you didn't at any point during this time, 2006, 2007, 2008 try to reach out or did you at any point after the relationship ended think about telling your story publicly?


COOPER: Talking about the relationship?

MCDOUGAL: 2007, 2008. No, in fact I had media contacted me in 2011. I for the life of me couldn't figure out who would leak something like this. I'm asking all my friends.

I even called him. I'm like, did you tell anybody? Like, are you leaking this information? He's like, no, don't worry about it. I didn't do it. So, we didn't worry about it.

But I actually had a manager at the time. I had a couple of journalists following me. And they would not leave me alone. So, I had an old manager at the time write them letters saying, you know, she did not have an affair, relationship, blah, blah, blah, et cetera, et cetera. So, I denied everything. I didn't want it out.

COOPER: So, you actually put out a denial to this --


COOPER: -- in 2011?

MCDOUGAL: I did. Not -- did they print that denial, I don't know. But I'm saying, my manager at the time e-mailed this one reporter that wouldn't give up. You guys are persistent. She wouldn't give up. So, he had to give her this letter and basically say, leave Karen alone at this point. Like you're done. Leave her alone. So --

COOPER: I mean, some people would have considered telling their story. That never crossed your mind?

MCDOUGAL: No. When you have -- when you have feelings and relationship and you cared about somebody, why would you want to destroy their life any more than you might have already destroyed their life? So --

COOPER: At one point did -- I mean, obviously, Donald Trump announces for president. He's going to run. He gets the Republican nomination.

At what point does this start to come back or this becomes suddenly in the forefront for you again?

MCDOUGAL: I was watching the Republican debate with a friend named Johnny. He's one of my good friends from many years ago. He said, you know, this story is a big story. And I said, no way. It's not going to happen. I go, you know where I stand on this, Johnny. I will never say anything. We dropped it.

[03:35:16] COOPER: Your friend Johnny was saying this story, meaning the story of your relationship with --

MCDOUGAL: Right. Of course --

COOPER: Your alleged relationship with Donald Trump.

MCDOUGAL: Right. And, of course, Johnny is a Democrat but I'm a Republican. So --

COOPER: You're a Republican?

MCDOUGAL: I am. I voted for Donald, yes, I did. There you have it.

Yes. Diehard Republican.

So, we dropped it, but then later, maybe a week or two later, an ex- friend or an old friend of mine started on social media talking about my relationship and she was part of that, she knows everything. She had started putting it out there. So, it was being seen.

So I came to Johnny one day and I said, Johnny, look what she's doing. I said, do I need to worry about this? He's like, absolutely, you do.

He said, you need to get ahead of the story now before everyone else takes your story and manipulates it any way they want to manipulate it and make it this very ugly thing. You need to control your story, and you need to tell your truth.

I said, yes, you're right. So, that's what we decided to do. And that's where Johnny one day comes over and he's like, you know, our mutual friend that we have found this guy named Keith and he's going to help you share your story.

COOPER: Keith Davidson.

MCDOUGAL: Yes, correct.

COOPER: An attorney.

MCDOUGAL: Yes, correct.

COOPER: An attorney who also was an attorney for Stormy Daniels. MCDOUGAL: I didn't know that. Yes.

COOPER: And others in this business.

MCDOUGAL: Clearly.

COOPER: So, what did you do then? You contacted Davidson?

MCDOUGAL: I didn't. Johnny did. Johnny and the mutual friend contacted Davidson. Within a matter of couple days, Keith came out and we all had lunch together and he wanted to know details. So, we sat down at lunch for a couple of hours. I gave him details. And Keith is like, this story's worth many, many millions. And I'm like, OK.

So, we talked about it and that's when Keith brought it to AMI.

COOPER: So did you know that Keith, your attorney, was going to go to AMI, which is the parent company with 'National Enquirer' and other magazines?

MCDOUGAL: He said AMI. I didn't know what AMI was to be honest. He said AMI, we have this company that, you know, they'll probably want to hear your story. So --

COOPER: And what was the thought of selling this story in your mind?

MCDOUGAL: To get my truth out there. I wasn't looking for money, clearly, but when he said it's worth many millions, I'm like, you know --

COOPER: That was something it was hard to pass up.

MCDOUGAL: Sure. Of course. But if you fast forward, I ended up not wanting to do that deal. So, we were going to ABC and tell the story just to get the story out there, and for nothing, there was no pay.

COOPER: Did Keith have a meeting with AMI? Did you have a meeting with AMI?

MCDOUGAL: We did. We had a meeting with AMI.

COOPER: You told them your story.

MCDOUGAL: We told them the story. They actually didn't think it was very credible. Even though off the record, they said, Dylan believes your story, but clearly when they came back, they said it wasn't believable.

COOPER: Dylan believe being?

MCDOUGAL: Dylan Howard, he's with AMI.


MCDOUGAL: So, they had like a 12-hour window to -- I'm probably skipping around, I'm sorry. They had a 12-hour window to accept whether they wanted the story or not. They didn't want the story.

COOPER: Did -- at the time, had they of -- named a price of what they might be willing to pay? Or had Keith just said --

MCDOUGAL: Keith had just thrown out number, yes. Keith had just thrown out numbers. Many millions, not just millions. Many millions.

So, when they turned it out, I said, OK, that's fine, but I, you know, I still have to get in front of the story because it's still getting put out there. So, we went to ABC. They were very interested in the story. They knew everything. They know everything. And I just got cold feet, I said, I can't do this.

COOPER: You actually met with people from ABC News.

MCDOUGAL: Yes, we met with people from ABC News. They were very interested in the story. When it came down to it, I just got cold feet. I didn't want the story coming out of my mouth. I didn't want anyone to know what I had done. I didn't want anyone to know, you know, from his side, what he had done. I wanted to keep it a very private matter because it was very private between us at the time.

COOPER: Did you still feel a sense of loyalty to Donald Trump?

MCDOUGAL: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Of course, I did. I don't want to hurt him or anybody. Yes, absolutely. Yes.

COOPER: Then what happened? You decided not to go ahead with ABC.

MCDOUGAL: I decided not to go with ABC. I told them, you know, I got cold feet, I -- my mother wouldn't be happy with me for sharing story. Again, I always put my mom in the mix, but I just backed out. I just backed out.

Well, then, the Republican -- he won the Republican nomination, and AMI was interested in the story again.

[03:40:07] COOPER: Once Donald Trump won the Republican nomination --

MCDOUGAL: Right, correct.

COOPER: You're saying AMI suddenly came back to you with interest in the story?

MCDOUGAL: Well, to Keith, yes, to us for the story, yes.

COOPER: Why do you think it was after Donald Trump was the Republican nominee that they came back?

MCDOUGAL: They wanted to squash the story.

COOPER: You're saying they wanted to protect Donald Trump?

MCDOUGAL: I'm assuming so, yes. But the offer, which we didn't discuss yet or haven't discussed, was, you know, they had offered a big, you know, contract for work, for modeling, and fitness and things like that. My life has always been health and fitness. So --

COOPER: They said they were going to have you be a columnist, you would write columns about health and fitness?

MCDOUGAL: Correct. They said I'd write columns. I would get one article per month in "OK" magazine, one article per month in "Star Magazine" for two years, and then four columns per month on "Radar Online" for two years.

On top of that, two magazine covers and their reasoning was, like, you know, you've been successful model, fitness, et cetera, we want to help you continue and we actually want to rebrand you. And, you know, you're older now, so, we want to jumpstart into a new career for you and really get you out there to work. And I'm like, this is perfect. Like, who doesn't -- what model wouldn't want that? Especially as an older model like, you're like, oh, this is great, right?

So, yes, but then the side deal was, oh, we're squashing the story. OK. It's win-win for me. Like, I get to work and my story doesn't have to come out.

COOPER: Did you know that they were buying the life rights to your story?

MCDOUGAL: I did. I knew I could never talk about him. Sure.

COOPER: So, that was -- for you, this wasn't a nondisclosure agreement. To you, this was a great business opportunity. You're going to get paid. You're going to be able to write columns. You're going to kind of launch a new aspect of your career. You're going to get the cover of some magazines.

And on top of it, you're going to sell them your story, but they're not going to publish it and, therefore --

MCDOUGAL: Correct.

COOPER: -- there's going to be any ramifications --

MCDOUGAL: Correct.

COOPER: -- for the story getting out.

MCDOUGAL: Absolutely. I mean, who wouldn't want to get this work? And then that work could lead to other work or to other work. Who knows where it could lead? Of course, I was excited.

COOPER: So, in essence, you were happy to have the story killed?

MCDOUGAL: Yes, of course. Like I said, I never wanted to come forward.

COOPER: And you were going to get $150,000 for it. For having it killed and launching potentially a new career.

MCDOUGAL: Well, more importantly I looked at it as I was doing work, the columns, the covers, and I'm getting paid for that -- oh, my life story is like never has to be shared. It was more about the way it was presented. It was more about protecting me, it was more about, we don't want to tarnish your image. We want to keep your brand wholesome and whole.

So, I'm like, that's awesome. You know, that's great. So, that's the way I perceived this contract. It was a win-win, like I said.

COOPER: Had you ever heard the term at that point, catch and kill?

MCDOUGAL: No, I had not.

COOPER: Do you know what catch and kill is now?

MCDOUGAL: I do now, yes, I do now.

COOPER: What's your understanding of a catch and kill is?

MCDOUGAL: Catch is -- from what I'm learning, a catch and kill is somebody for, say, yourself, for example, taking a story about somebody you like or care about, have a friendship about, and they squash the story so it doesn't hurt you or hurt them.

COOPER: So, the allegation -- AMI which says they don't do catch and kill, but a number of former employees of AMI have told the "New Yorker" that routinely, they have done catch and kill. They have purchased the rights to a story, done an interview in your case with you, get your story about Donald Trump, but then they never publish it.


COOPER: And they own the rights to it and you can't tell it to anybody else. So, the story is effectively killed as a favor to, in this case, Donald Trump.


COOPER: Did you know that that's what was going -- that's the allegation of what's going on here. Did you -- did you realize that at the time?

MCDOUGAL: I knew the story wasn't going to be printed. Yes.

COOPER: Why do you think they squashed the story?

MCDOUGAL: Back then or now?


MCDOUGAL: They didn't want to hurt him.

COOPER: You think it's because of a personal relationship with a guy who runs AMI, he's friends with Donald Trump?

MCDOUGAL: Correct. COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, you wouldn't know this, but do you think Donald Trump would have been aware of this -- of this deal? That they were doing him -- that they were allegedly doing him this favor?

MCDOUGAL: I wouldn't know, but based on what I'm learning as we're all learning together as we read, and one of the big complaints with why I think my contract is illegal is because his attorney was talking to my attorney. So --

[03:45:11] COOPER: Michael Cohen -- you're saying Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen --

MCDOUGAL: Correct. Speaking with Keith --

COOPER: -- was talking to Keith Davidson, your attorney.

MCDOUGAL: -- without me even knowing, without my knowledge. I would assume that maybe he knew. I know his attorney did. I can't say that he knew but his attorney --

COOPER: How do you know that Michael Cohen and your attorney, Keith Davidson, were in communication?

MCDOUGAL: I didn't know. I'm just learning this as you're learning this. It's been reported, and my attorneys, they know.

COOPER: And to you, the idea that Michael Cohen would be in communication with your attorney at the time, theoretically, there would be no reason for Michael Cohen to be having communication with your attorney because this was a deal between Keith Davidson, you, and AMI.

MCDOUGAL: AMI. Right. So, why was he involved in my deal? And why wasn't I told that he was involved in my deal?

That's not fair. And it's, quite frankly, illegal.


MCDOUGAL: It's wrong.

COOPER: How quickly was the AMI deal done?

MCDOUGAL: Once we agreed upon the jobs, the financial payment and things like that, it was done very quickly in a matter of a day or two. Basically, I was going out of town, and I said, I'll get back to you in a week, when I get back into town. They said the deal really needs to be done now. I'm like, OK. So I think it was done within that night or the next day.

COOPER: How -- do you remember what day this was or what -- when this was in the presidential race?

MCDOUGAL: It was in August. I signed the deal August 6th. So it was probably August 5th or 4th that I -- we, you know, finalized and then signed on the 6th. But I can't tell you, I don't remember where the race was. So --

COOPER: So, this was in the last month or two of the presidential race.


COOPER: Do you think the presidential race had anything to do with this deal getting done?

MCDOUGAL: When I'm looking back at it now -- possibly, yes.

COOPER: How so?

MCDOUGAL: Well, as an American citizen, we know that if you don't put all your evidence out, so to speak, that you know or if you're paying to squash stories, or if you're given illegal campaign funds, we know it's illegal. So, I'm -- like I said, I'm new at this. I'm learning -- you all probably know this but I'm learning this stuff and --

COOPER: Would it have been potentially damaging if your story had come out in the last month or two of the presidential campaign?

MCDOUGAL: You know, I don't know how damaging it would have been. You've seen the other stories about him that didn't hurt him. So, could it have been damaging politically speaking? Probably not. However, I think it could have damaged maybe family. I don't know.

But, I mean -- it depends on who you ask. It definitely could have damaged, I don't know. I mean, with the illegal campaign fund, I think that definitely would have damaged. But the rumor of, you know, somebody's rumor, or someone saying you had an affair or a relationship, does that really damage people?

COOPER: The thought, though, of telling your story to AMI, some people hearing that are going to think, A, you wanted money, and, B, you wanted to damage the president.

MCDOUGAL: I voted for the president. I voted for Donald. Why would I want to damage him?

That's my party, Republican Party. That's my president. I did not want to damage him or hurt him in any way, shape or form, but I also didn't want to put out the story because I didn't want my reputation to be damaged. I care about myself as much as I care about anyone else's reputation or personal life.

But like I said, I was more excited about this modeling contract, this big deal of writing for these magazines and who knows where that could have went. You know, I love fitness, I love health, and that's where my focus was.

COOPER: Had -- when you first went to AMI, and Keith Davidson was telling you, they're going to pay millions for your story, had they said, OK, yes, we're going to run this story and we're going to pay you $2 million, would you have gone with that? Would you have done that? MCDOUGAL: Probably not.

COOPER: Really?

MCDOUGAL: I mean, it's hard to say, but probably not.

COOPER: It's a lot of money.

MCDOUGAL: It's a lot of money, but you also had your conscience. Like I said, I'm a different girl today. I've, you know, returned to my roots of my faith, spirituality. I'm going to church. I'm involved in ministry.

It's not where I want that to go. You know?

COOPER: If Donald Trump hadn't been running for president, do you believe this deal would have been made with AMI, knowing what you know now?

MCDOUGAL: Probably not, no. Probably not.

COOPER: You're pretty convinced -- you're convinced now this was an effort to do a favor for Donald Trump in the last few months of the presidential race?

MCDOUGAL: Unfortunately, yes.

COOPER: When you heard that Access Hollywood tape come out, just on a personal level, I'm wondering what you felt.

[03:50:04] MCDOUGAL: You know what, I was disgusted. I had not seen that in him at all. Like when our relationship was going on, I didn't see that side of him at all. Like I said, he was very respectful. He was a gentleman. When we were out in public, I even had friends go, wow, he's really respectful to you when he's out in public, and, you know, his hand's always on your back or your shoulder, he always introduces you.

I didn't see that side of him until I started watching TV and, you know, that's not the man that I knew. So I was kind of disgusted on those comments. I have brothers. I've heard my brothers say things, but that was pretty bad.

COOPER: It wasn't just locker room talk as he said.

MCDOUGAL: No, I mean, I've heard my brothers' locker room talk and, you know, did he mean to say it? He said it. Would he really do it? I don't know. I've never seen that side of him, but --

COOPER: When you heard other women coming forward alleging inappropriate touching, inappropriate behavior, I'm wondering what you thought.

MCDOUGAL: Again, I was kind of mortified. I was like, wow, is he capable of that? Because I didn't see that. But clearly, you know, women have their stories and their opinions, and if they were violated like that, they should come forward.

COOPER: AMI has put out a statement saying that you can talk to the media, that you're free.

MCDOUGAL: Yes. I saw that statement, too, but according to their attorney, I can't. There will be financial ruin.

COOPER: They still own the life rights to your story.

MCDOUGAL: They do.

COOPER: They can transfer, according to the contract you signed, they can transfer those life rights to some other publication, correct?

MCDOUGAL: I don't recall that part, but I'd have to see the --


MCDOUGAL: It's been a while since I read it.

COOPER: I understand that 10 months after the election, David Pecker actually had lunch with you. What was the genesis of that? What was the point?

MCDOUGAL: I was told that David Pecker wanted to have lunch with me because he was happy about the way I answered my interview in one of the article's magazines. I don't remember which one. I'm sorry. He wanted to thank me and he wanted to thank me for my loyalty.

COOPER: Loyalty?

MCDOUGAL: Loyalty. He said loyalty is everything to him.

COOPER: Loyalty to AMI, loyalty to the president?

MCDOUGAL: I thought to AMI. I don't know exactly what he meant by that but I think it's probably maybe a combination of both. I don't know.

COOPER: Do you know what happens next with AMI? And, I mean, now that you're speaking here?

MCDOUGAL: There could be a big lawsuit, like against me. There could be financial ruin. But that's why I have really good attorneys to make sure that doesn't happen.

Am I scared? Like do I feel threatened? Absolutely.

But I feel I had to protect myself, I had to stand up for myself and, you know, I almost feel violated in the fact that I didn't know what was going behind -- going on behind the scenes. So I'm quite mad at that. I'm angry. I feel taken advantage of in a sense. And I just want the right to be made. I want it to be right.

COOPER: You filed a lawsuit but you are speaking to us. So what is the point of the lawsuit? MCDOUGAL: Why did I file a lawsuit?


MCDOUGAL: I want my rights back. I mean --

COOPER: You want the rights -- the life rights to your story.

MCDOUGAL: I want my life rights back. You know, it's been -- yes, I want my life rights back. I feel like the contract is illegal. I feel like I wasn't presented correctly. I was lied to and everybody involved in this deal.

I want the rights back and I want to share my truth because everyone else is talking about my truth, which their -- I need to share my story. Everyone else is talking about it. I've never talked. Since the day it happened, I have refused to speak publicly, privately even. I -- my friends know, my family know, but nobody else knows. I wanted to keep it quiet. But now that it's out, I need to control it. I need to control it.

COOPER: Do you feel better having spoken?

MCDOUGAL: I do in a sense. I do because I'm actually standing up for myself now and I really didn't do that before, and now, people know my truth. I'm not a liar. I'm perceived as a liar or this nut, all these bad names.

I did what I did. I'm not proud of it. And I feel terrible about it, but I'm a new woman, new creation. And I'm standing up for myself.

COOPER: You know, some people hearing that are going to say, look, you want -- this is -- you're in it for the money. They're going to say, OK, obviously we are not paying you for this interview, we don't pay for interviews, but you may go from here and write a book or make a movie or whatever it may be. To that, you say what?

MCDOUGAL: Bottom line is this, I've offered to give the $150,000, even though I only got 55% of that. I've offered to give back the $150,000, just to have my story rights back.

The story's out there now. I'm not telling the nitty-gritty details as you can see. I'm very selective in what I'm saying about our relationship. I'm not out to make money on this. I'm out to get my rights back to prove a contract was illegal, that I was taken advantage of then go back to my life, period.

[03:55:14] COOPER: Does it anger you, I mean, is part of this because people at the White House have said, you're lying, you're not telling the truth?

MCDOUGAL: I don't -- no one likes to be called liar. But, no, it's more about the illegal portion of the contract and them not fulfilling what they promised me. They promised me this work. To date, there are only ten articles in "OK" magazine, 10 articles in "Star" magazine and maybe seven on "Radar Online". "Radar Online", I'm supposed to get four per month. I mean, the two years is up in August. I've gotten nothing out of this.

COOPER: So, you think that whole talk of helping you relaunch kind of new -- a whole new phase of your career --

MCDOUGAL: They were fake. They didn't want to help me. I thought they wanted to keep my reputation clean from what they said. They wanted to re-brand me. They wanted to -- you know, I'm an older model now. They wanted to make something a new start. You know, they promised me all these wonderful, beautiful things.

Even when I met with David Pecker and Dylan and Keith in New York after -- this is back last August -- they offered me many more opportunities. But I haven't seen anything yet. Not that -- that's not part of the contract. But my point is, they keep dangling the carrot. I', not playing that game anymore.

COOPER: Are you aware or have you spoken to any women with similar stories who have come forward?

MCDOUGAL: No, I haven't spoken to anyone. I know other -- I've heard other stories from other people but it's hearsay. It's not like the girl directly to me. But, no, I can't comment on that.

COOPER: Would you have come forward publicly if Stormy Daniels hadn't come forward? Do you think that made an impact on you?

MCDOUGAL: I definitely think it made a little bit of an impact on me. It gives you more -- it takes a little bit of the fear away.

However, I probably would have just because as I'm learning about this contract and the people involved and the way I was treated and all the behind-the-scenes things that I wasn't aware about, and all the work I'm not getting, which I contracted for -- yes, I probably would have come forward. If you didn't get what you were told in a contract work-wise, wouldn't you say something? Of course.

COOPER: Do you have any regrets about the relationship that you said you had with him?

MCDOUGAL: Back then?


MCDOUGAL: The only regret I have about the relationship that I had with Donald was the fact that he was married. If he weren't married, I wouldn't have any regrets because he treated me very kind. He was very respectful. As I told you, it was a good relationship while it happened.

Now, had I known at the time there were supposedly all these other women -- no, I wouldn't have been in the relationship. But I didn't know that at the time. So, no, no regrets, except the fact that he was married.

COOPER: If Melania Trump is watching this, what would you want her to know? MCDOUGAL: A tough one.

COOPER: Or say to her.

MCDOUGAL: Yes. What can you say except, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I wouldn't want it done to me. I'm sorry.


VANIER: You've been watching a CNN exclusive interview with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Up next, CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for watching.