Michael Sanchez declined on Wednesday to provide CNN an on-the-record comment about whether he was the leaker. He previously denied to The Washington Post playing a role in leaking details about the relationship between Bezos and his sister, and told The New York Post he would not dignify such allegations with a response.
A representative for AMI told CNN on Wednesday that the company “declines to comment on sources.”
The suggestions about whether Trump or Saudi Arabia possibly played a role in exposing the relationship have gone unsubstantiated since Bezos first made them in a blog post last week detailing his interactions with the National Enquirer.
In the blog post, Bezos dangled tantalizing details in front of the reader, mentioning both Trump and Saudi Arabia.
Bezos wrote that his ownership of The Washington Post, which has covered both Trump and the Saudi Arabian government critically, was a “complexifier” for him.
In effect, Bezos suggested — though he did not outright say — that the Saudis or Trump, or perhaps both, had possibly played a role in exposing his relationship to the National Enquirer.
But six days later, Bezos has not provided any evidence to support those ideas. And while he did provide emails to support his allegation of blackmail, the absence of evidence on the other explosive suggestions has only increased interest in the matter.
“American Media does not have, nor have we ever had, any editorial or financial ties to Saudi Arabia,” a spokesman for the company told CNN earlier this week in response to questions on the matter.
Addressing the idea that the Enquirer’s investigation was in some way prompted by the Saudis or by AMI’s desire to have a connection to the Saudis, a current high-level executive at AMI told CNN on Wednesday, “We’re all laughing that that’s become a thing because it’s a year old. Saudi never gave any money to the Enquirer.”
While de Becker said he turned over that information to Bezos’ attorneys, he has declined to reveal to the public any details about what his investigation found. The Daily Beast reported that it had reviewed documents related to the investigation, but it was not clear if the documents were from de Becker’s investigation.
De Becker did not provide CNN an on-the-record comment, despite multiple requests. An Amazon representative also declined to comment, noting the questions did not pertain to the company. Bezos does not have any other known spokespeople representing him.
Among the questions CNN asked de Becker and the Amazon spokesperson were: Why did Bezos mention the Saudis and Trump in his blog post?; What were the findings of de Becker’s investigation?; Will Bezos ever share with the public information about de Becker’s investigation?
In Bezos’ initial Thursday blog post, he shared an email from Dylan Howard, the National Enquirer’s chief content officer. Howard, in that email, detailed the various photos he said the tabloid “obtained during our newsgathering.” Those photos included what Howard described as a “‘below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick'” and other explicit photos of both Lauren Sanchez and Bezos.
Michael Sanchez insisted to CNN on Tuesday — before CNN’s reporting that he was the National Enquirer’s initial source — that he was told that the investigation “cleared” him of “any involvement” related to photos involving Bezos’ genitalia. He said that he was provided the information by a third party with knowledge of the investigation, and that he had not been directly told he had been cleared by investigators.
“I have been told that the Amazon investigation determined that I was not involved in the leak of the d*ck pics, because I never had access to any of the d*ck pics,” he told CNN.
Michael Sanchez on Tuesday also cast doubt on the rigor of de Becker’s investigation, telling CNN that throughout the course of the investigation de Becker “never asked to examine my phone, laptop or notes” or “identified himself to me as an investigator.” He suggested that Bezos’ suggestion the Saudis or Trump possibly played a role in the leaking of the text messages to the National Enquirer was an attempt to distract.