You tell me, but it sure sounds like untoward influence was used prior to Jerry Falwell Jr.’s key 2016 endorsement of Donald Trump, a man whose peccadilloes and insensate evil would have given St. Francis of Assisi stigmata of the eyeballs.
As Reuters reported last year, the Falwells enlisted Cohen to keep “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” from becoming public, Cohen said in a recording, made surreptitiously by comedian Tom Arnold. “I actually have one of the photos,” he said, without going into specifics. “It’s terrible.”
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.”
“Call in a favor … for the Boss?” Is this a presidential election campaign or an episode of The Sopranos?
Cohen has said that he helped persuade Falwell to endorse Trump just before Republican voters gathered in Iowa in February 2016 to nominate a presidential candidate. Falwell not only publicly vouched for Trump’s Christian virtues but also barnstormed with the candidate. His backing of Trump — a twice-divorced candidate who had talked about grabbing women’s genitals and engaged in extramarital affairs — was one of the major surprises of the 2016 campaign.
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.
Unfortunately, we know the rest of the story. The Falwell scandal eventually hit the fan, and all we got was this lousy president.
As much as I delight in all things schadenfreude, the price of this particular evangelical scandal is far too high. And while Trump may have been elected regardless, we don’t know that. In the final analysis, Jerry and Becki Falwell’s extramarital adventures may have ultimately saddled us with Trump.
In other words … Worst. Blowjob. Ever.
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