American Media is in talks to sell the National Enquirer tabloid to California billionaire and Democratic donor Ronald Burkle, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing sources with knowledge of the negotiations. 

Burkle's potential purchase of the publication from American Media could complicate its relationship with President Donald Trump, who has praised the tabloid on Twitter. 

The Enquirer was at the center of controversial reports that suggested that the company participated in a practice known as catch-and-kill to silence a potentially embarrassing story for Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

The company admitted to prosecutors that it worked "in concert" with the Trump campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money to squelch her story of an affair with the then candidate. 

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Burkle is an American investor who co-founded The Yucaipa Cos private equity firm, which looks to purchase underperforming businesses in different sectors.