Trump reportedly talked to his lawyer about buying the rights to the story about his own affair.
Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been under investigation for his Shady business dealings for quite some time now. The Department of Justice raided Cohen's "residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit boxes and two cell phones" back in April and found, among other things, incriminating recordings of the President.
One in particular features Trump and Cohen discussing an affair that Trump had back in 2006 with ex-playmate Karen McDougal. The affair took place in 2006, while Trump was married to his current wife and shortly after the birth of his youngest son, Baron. The conversation on the tape occurred in September of 2016, when Trump was still running for office. He is heard on the tape discussing how he wants to keep the affair quiet by buying the rights to it. According to CNN, "McDougal signed a contract with American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer, which barred her from publicly speaking about the alleged affair before the 2016 election." Presumably Trump and Cohen wanted to take over the rights to the tape so that they could be sure about the scandal staying on the down low. In other words, they wanted to buy McDougal's silence.
The story of the affair broke four days before the elections, but Trump's payout is a new revelation. The president has responded to the allegations, calling them "inconceivable" and saying that a lawyer taping a client is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal." In New York, it is completely legal for a lawyer to tape a client.