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Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president of the evangelical Liberty University, has denied Michael Cohen’s suggestion that Falwell endorsed Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid to prevent topless pictures of his wife from being released.
Cohen, the former personal lawyer and fixer for Trump, had claimed in his book that the Falwells asked him to help prevent the private pictures of the Christian leader’s wife, Becki.
In an interview with CNN to promote his book, Cohen said he helped the couple block some “personal photos between a husband and wife” from being released in 2015 by negotiating with another lawyer whose clients had sued Falwell over a land deal.
Following the release of Cohen’s book, Falwell told Reuters on Tuesday: “Someone stole some pictures I took of my wife in the back yard. Topless. Big deal. OK?”
“It was no quid pro quo,” he added. “There was no me supporting Trump because of whatever Michael was doing.”
He added that he endorsed Trump, at Cohen’s request, because he “believed that a businessman needed to run this country.”
In his book, Cohen had described how Falwell had endorsed Trump just before the Republican primaries in Iowa in 2016, which was a key moment for the campaign.
Falwell was able to sway many white evangelicals — a key conservative voting bloc — to vote for Trump, a twice-divorced former reality star, despite their apparent differences.
Falwell went on to join Trump on stage at the 2016 Republican National Convention, and continued to back Trump after the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump boasted of groping women, and allegations about a series of extramarital affairs Trump had with models.
Falwell’s own personal life has been in the spotlight recently, following claims by a former business associate Giancarlo Granda who said he had sexual affairs with Falwell’s wife Becki, and Falwell watched them have sex.
Falwell confirmed the affair between his wife and Granda, but denied claims about his role in the relationship.
Cohen’s book, which was released Tuesday, contains a series of damaging claims about Trump spanning from the years they worked together. Cohen worked for Trump from 2006 to 2018.
He has alleged that Trump is a racist with an obsessive hatred of former President Barack Obama; willingly sought Russia’s help to win the 2016 presidential election; and worked with The National Inquirer tabloid to smear political opponents during the Republican primaries with claims he knew to be false.
In the book, Cohen also claimed that Trump once said after meeting evangelical Christians in 2016: “Can you believe people believe that bulls—?”
Cohen was jailed last year after lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia and for his role in securing financial payments prior to the 2016 election to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
The White House and Trump have repeatedly dismissed Cohen as a liar and his book as a series of fabrications.
“Michael Cohen is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress. He has lost all credibility, …read more
Source:: Business Insider