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Cohen: Falwell Endorsed Trump After Topless Photo 'Favor'

Falwell says there was 'no quid pro quo'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2020 6:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michael Cohen did indeed suppress racy photos of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s wife before getting the evangelical leader to endorse President Trump in 2016, according to Cohen's new book, out Wednesday. In Disloyal: The Memoir, Trump's former fixer says he helped "kill" the photos of a "half-naked" Becki Falwell, per Reuters. "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," Cohen writes. He does not explicitly link Falwell's endorsement to that favor. But he clearly saw the moment as significant. He references a previous occasion when he secured tickets to a Justin Bieber concert for Falwell's daughter. "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.

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If the photos were seen by "evangelicals all over the country, it would be an unmitigated disaster," Cohen writes. But he suggested Falwell's endorsement was unconnected to the photos when speaking to Rachel Maddow on Tuesday, per the Washington Examiner. "They would have done it anyway because I asked," he said. Reached by phone, Falwell denied supporting Trump because Cohen suppressed topless photos of his wife. "It was no quid pro quo," he told Reuters, adding he "believed that a businessman needed to run this country." Reuters notes his wife could be heard urging him to hang up. Meanwhile, the White House sought to discredit Cohen. "[He] is a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, who lied to Congress," said press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. "He has lost all credibility, and it's unsurprising to see his latest attempt to profit off of lies." (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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