In his new book, Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen links for the first time disgraced evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr’s endorsement of Trump with Cohen’s suppression of racy photos of Falwell and his wife Becki.
Reuters reports: “In ‘Disloyal: The Memoir,’ Cohen describes thinking that his involvement in the Falwell photo matter would be a ‘catch and kill’ — the practice of American tabloids to obtain and then suppress unfavorable stories about celebrities — ‘but in this case it was just going to be kill.’ He later writes: ‘In good time, I would call in this favor, not for me, but for the Boss, at a crucial moment on his journey to the presidency.'”
“In the book, Cohen doesn’t explicitly say that the endorsement was the favor he sought in return for his help in having kept the Falwell photos from getting out. But his account marks the first time he has linked the two issues,” Reuters adds.
Falwell denied any link between his Trump endorsement and the photos.
Reuters reports: “After this story was published, Jerry Falwell spoke by phone with Reuters. He said that ‘someone stole some pictures I took of my wife in the back yard. Topless. Big deal. OK?’ But he said his endorsement of Trump had nothing to do with Cohen’s role in suppressing the racy photographs. ‘It was no quid pro quo,’ Falwell said. ‘There was no me supporting Trump because of whatever Michael was doing.'”
Reuters adds that Becki Falwell could be heard in the background of the phone interview telling Jerry, “Hang up the goddamn phone. Hang up the phone, Jerry!”
Falwell resigned as president of Liberty University after Giancarlo Granda, a former “pool boy” Falwell Jr. said was extorting him and his wife over an alleged affair told Reuters that Falwell “enjoyed watching from the corner of the room” while Granda had sex with his wife.
Liberty U. has since launched an investigation of Falwell’s financial , real estate, and legal dealings while at the university.