Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, claimed in his new book that former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s endorsement of Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign was in exchange for Cohen keeping explicit photos of Falwell from going public.

Last year, Michael Cohen revealed that the Falwells had sought his help to suppress “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” from being leaked. “I actually have one of the photos, it’s terrible,” he said. At the time, however, Falwell did not explicitly say that Falwell had endorsed Trump in return.

In his book “Disloyal: The Memoir,” Cohen compared the incident to a “catch and kill” scheme of American tabloids, which they use to obtain and suppress unfavorable information about celebrities. “But in this case, it was just going to be kill,” he 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.”

Falwell, an evangelical leader, was an important evangelical endorsement for Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. His declaration of support for Trump, who was known for his extramarital affairs and explicit jokes about women’s genitals, was one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 campaign. That year, Falwell did not only convince Republican voters to nominate Trump as a presidential candidate but also publicly promoted his Christian virtues. Many saw his endorsement as an attempt to win over white evangelicals for Trump.

Cohen describes in his book his relationship with the Falwells before the 2016 campaign, saying the Falwells were “more like family to me.” He also recalls an occasion in which he bought Justin Bieber tickets for Falwell’s daughter, suggesting that they used the tickets and the photo issue in an eventual exchange.

“Like the Bieber favor a few years earlier, this would have a huge impact on the 2016 election, evangelicals, the Supreme Court and the fate of the nation,” he writes. “If Becki Falwell was seen half-naked by the students of Liberty University, let alone evangelicals all over the country, it would be an unmitigated disaster.”

In response to Cohen’s claims, however, Falwell said his endorsement of Trump had nothing to do with Cohen’s role in suppressing their photographs, saying he endorsed the real estate mogul at Cohen’s behest because he believed that a businessman needed to run the country.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen recently lambasted President Trump for his racial tendencies. Twitter

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