A plausible explanation as to why Falwell endorsed Donald Trump… and it involves sexy photos, blackmail and Michael Cohen

Just before the Iowa caucus, on January 26, 2016, evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. made a surprise presidential endorsement. “I am proud to offer my endorsement of Donald J. Trump for President of the United States,” Falwell was quoted as saying in a statement put out by the Trump campaign. “He is a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”

This, given Donald Trump’s long history of lying, utter lack of compassion, well-documented adultery, disdain toward the poor, disrespectful behavior toward women, etc, was confusing to many. “How could an evangelical leader like Falwell endorse a man like Trump?”, many wondered… And, how, after audio became public of the candidate bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy” without their consent, could Falwell possibly continue to endorse Trump?

Well, thanks to a tape recording made by comedian Tom Arnold, we may have the answer to those questions. According to news reports this evening, Trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen, can be heard telling Arnold, on the secretly recorded tape, that he was able to secure Falwell’s endorsement shortly after he’d assisted the evangelical leader to secure “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” he wanted kept private. “I actually have one of the photos,” Cohen can be heard telling Arnold. “It’s terrible.”

So, while we still don’t know all of the facts, it would appear as though Falwell was being blackmailed, he went to Cohen for assistance, which was given. And, right before the Iowa caucus, Cohen called in the favor. Did Cohen extort the endorsement? Did he threaten to go public with that photo that he apparently held onto? And might this in some way tie back to the story from this past winter about Falwell inexplicably transferring $1.8 million to a “pool boy” that he’d befriended in Miami?

I’d like to go on and speculate as to what all of this means, but It Happened One Night is scheduled to start in a few minutes, and I’ve yet to make my giant snack tray… Before I go, though, I would just like to say that it really is fascinating to consider all of the various things that had to happen in order to put Donald Trump, the least qualified presidential candidate in our nation’s history, into the White House. The “perfect storm” of blackmailed evangelicals, ruthless Russian oligarchs, thoroughly corrupt Republicans, unregulated social media platforms, and greedy network executives that it took to make this happen is really just incredible.

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40 Comments

  1. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I doubt it.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Falwell on Trump:

    “I have seen firsthand that his staff loves him and is loyal to him because of his servant leadership. In my opinion Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment,” he continued.

    Falwell then warned the audience of conflating Christian values and secular leadership roles to the point of mutual exclusivity.”My father was criticized in the early 1980s for supporting Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter for president because Ronald Reagan was a Hollywood actor who had been divorced and remarried and Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher,” he said.

    “My father proudly replied that Jesus pointed out that we are all sinners, every one of us and when Jesus said surrender unto Caesar what is due to Caesar, that meant we out to be good citizens — voting, acting in the political process, serving in our armed forces if necessary — and while Jesus never told us who to vote for he gave us all common sense to choose the best leaders and the ability to choose the best leaders,” Falwell noted.
    “My dad explained that when he walked into the voting booth, he wasn’t electing a Sunday school teacher or a pastor or even a president who shared his theological belief. He was electing the president of the United States and the talents and abilities and experience required to lead a nation might not always line up with what was needed to run a church or a congregation. After all, Jimmy Carter was a great Sunday school teacher but look what happened to our nation with him in the presidency. Sorry,” he quipped quickly.

    “I see a lot of parallels between my father and Mr. Trump. Like Mr. Trump, dad would speak his mind. He would make statements that were politically incorrect. He even had a billboard at the entrance to this campus that read ‘Liberty University, politically incorrect since 1971.'”

  2. stupid hick
    Posted May 7, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    “I have seen firsthand that his staff loves him and is loyal to him because of his servant leadership. In my opinion Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment,”

    I’m sorry, this is so obviously nuts, it can’t possibly be the real reason Falwell supports Trump. Also, if the photos are actually of Falwell and his wife, they would be described as exactly that, not as “the *kind* of photos that *would be* kept between husband and wife”. That’s an obvious attempt to mislead. Falwell must be gay.

  3. stupid hick
    Posted May 7, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    “I’ve yet to make my giant snack tray”

    Carrots, broccoli, raw brussel sprouts, radishes, snap peas, and celery, with 3 ounces of hummus? Do tell and don’t hold back. Inspire your fans.

  4. Bob
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    You’re forgetting the other part of the story. Some months back there was a story about Falwell’s poolboy having allegations against the Reverend and his wife. A “real estate deal gone bad.” Sounds more like someone was diddling the latino poolboy and things got sticky.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/aramroston/jerry-falwell-jr-michael-cohen-pool-attendant-lawsuit&ved=2ahUKEwi99aL_zoviAhUQna0KHRSvBWQQFjAAegQIBxAC&usg=AOvVaw1Nw8jZvICs_39mjZ_in2Ou&ampcf=1

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Despite Cruz doing well in Iowa, Trump and Hillary were the front-runners in January 2016.

    Falwell was probably going to endorse the probable Republican nominee no matter what, right? Gaining that endorsement probably did not require a blackmail scheme, right?

  6. Jim
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Josh Marshall also considers the poolboy connection. https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/inside-the-falwell-cohen-granda-totally-normal-nothing-to-see-here-den-of-iniquity

  7. Anonymous
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Evangelicals are such suckers.

  8. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Aloha, looks like an excellent movie. You should announce what movie your going to watch in advance so we can all join in.
    Evangelical christians are such a heretical sect that it is a misnomer to call them Christians. If you compare Falwell’s embrace of sinners and granting them forgiveness, all willy nilly, to the current theological schism within the Catholic faith, you would get a sense of what I mean. The current “hippie” Pope opened the door a crack to allow divorcees who have civilly remarried back into communion with the rest of the faithful. You have Bishops and Cardinals calling him a heretic and demanding that he repudiate his letter on “Love in the Family”.

    In any event does any of this really surprise anyone. As Trump said, he could shoot some one on 5th. Ave. and his supporters would not care.

  9. Trump 2020
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    1 Thessalonians 4:16 : For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first

    Even the Bible predicts the savior Donald Trump no better man on earth to take the faithful to their rightful home in Heaven blessed be the name of Trump saving the babies and the immigrants but not the sex workers. No President before him has ever been tougher on crime and cleaned up the inner cities like he has.

  10. Sad
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Hey did that Falwell guy attack Mayor Pete?

    Did you know that there are some Democrats who are homophobic but the press won’t talk about it. MSM makes it seems like only the republicans are attacking Pete but apparently thats’s not true. Now i’ve Finally figured out who likes Biden.

    https://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/lane-filler/mayor-pete-buttigieg-african-american-voters-1.30790547

  11. John Brown
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    Have you seen “The Trial of Ratko Mladic”? It aired again last night on TVO (TV Ontario, digital channel 32). You probably won’t want to be snacking too heavily for the mass grave exhumation scenes. Really good reminder of the outcome of nationalism sprinkled with religion and racism.

  12. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Trump 2020. Read this morning that they are now able to measure methane in the air in areas of Russia in parts per million, rather than parts per billion. But your man Pompeo cheers the melting of the arctic as an investment opportunity. You must be an end timer and want to take us all with you.

  13. Trump 2020
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Hosea 4:1-3 Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

    Trump is the biblical man he follows the word of god knows that pollution is cause of man not need God the archangel Michael (Pence) and Trump bring back America great again but not abortion and sex workers no, they shall perish in the fire.

  14. John Brown
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Quick, someone call Poison Control for Chump 2020. They’ve clearly ingested large quantities of the brown acid.

  15. JR
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    This does not surprise me at all. What continues to surprise me are the masses of people who listen to these grifters. Are Americans getting more gullible by the year? Ugh. Jerry Falwell has a large following after all the stupid stuff he’s done? Not to mention 45’s craxy con artist life of course.

    We need more immigrants, not less, to please save us from our deteriorating brains

  16. Trump 2020
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Romans 13:1–7 Let every person pbe subject to the governing authorities. For qthere is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you rwill receive his approval, 4 for she is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, tan avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also ufor the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 vPay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    Through Trump God commands us to keep those lawbreakers OUT of our great country and take their diseases and rapists with them because that is what GOD through the great TRUMPet and his archangel Michael PENCE demand of us to stop sex workers and abortions and clean up inner cities like Jesus command yes

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Trump 2020 seems to have forgotten About Mary Magdalene. I’m going to hope that’s a parody account. It sounds like my schizophrenic uncle in one of his fits of psychosis.

    I’m laughing so hard about this. It’s reliably true those most obsessed with purity fall the farthest off the path. FF’s standard denialism/diversion tactics was predictable. EOS will never admit the degree to which her dogmatism makes her vulnerable to manipulation. Or how routinely morally compromised (visa vi their own standards) her cohorts are shown to be. I mean who cares if Falwell fucked the pool boy?Only those ppl. That he was willing to compromise his movement in order to protect his reputation is the story.

    These people have no right to lecture anyone on decency or principle.

    Time to pop the corn, waiting to watch EOS twist in the wind defending her choices on moral grounds.

    Falwell fucking a fetus would have been even less surprising. These people are obsessed with fetuses. False idols and all
    That…

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Diversion?

    I was laughing inside all day thinking about how there are people who are putting forth the theory (LOL) that Hillary’s loss depended upon some kind of unlucky combination of decidedly unfortunate events. The vicious and sinister swirling storm of no collusion, $4,600-$100k worth of facebook memes, and now the endorsement-via-blackmail of the Republican frontrunner by an evangelical leader.

    I suspect this is the just the tip of the iceberg in the middle of 50 year ice storm. I bet if we investigated it we would find all of the Republican frontrunners have blackmailed evangelical leaders. I mean who ever would have thought an evangelical would support a Republican without some sort of blackmail going on…It’s really unfortunate. What are the odds? I feel sorry for Hillary and her supporters.

    It just isn’t fair. Super unlucky.

  19. Sad
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Mayor Pete would never blackmail anyone.

  20. Sad
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Democrats quick to call out homophobia amongst republicans but not so much in their own party. I thought intersectionalty was the new thing?

    https://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/lane-filler/mayor-pete-buttigieg-african-american-voters-1.30790547

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted May 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Did any Black Democrats say anything homophobic about Mayor Pete or anyone? Was there any action taken worthy of censure.

    If they have please let us know. But telling about polls of attitudes isn’t really analysis, is it? Or activism. What is there to call out?

    I do t think Democrats have ever denied that bias of various kinds exists within the party. I have spoken here many times about social conservatives in the Black community. If you watched any Black media or downtown time with any black queer people, you would hear homophobia in the community discussed regularly and with a duck of a lot more nuance than you offer here.

    It feels like you are making a joke of homophobia or Blavk culture. I’m not sure which,but it’s nit super s
    Using or revelatory.

    Also hot tip: Mayor Pete has more barriers to reaching a Blavk audience than his sexuality. This isn’t a two person race. What’s he offering Black Americans? He keeps talking about the forgotten white working class in rural America . He’s going to lose a few people with that approach.
    See Bernie. Not gay, btw.

  22. John Brown
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    FF says “…more dangerous form of ideology is having false beliefs about what others believe about the world”. Then immediately attributes a belief to John Brown based on what evidence? Wishful thinking? I think the compliments to FFs intellect are the actual parody.

    Does anyone else think that a joke about chump 2020 taking “the brown acid” indicates a specific belief regarding parody vs actual psychosis? The point being that it doesn’t matter if its real or parody in that its representative of an actual phenomenon.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    We don’t know much in terms of details.

    I hate to assume anything, but fuck it. It is super obvious Trump was really lucky to have access to the compromising photos of Falwell, Falwell’s wife, Falwell’s son, or someone close to Falwell because otherwise Trump, as the probable Republican nominee, never would have had the opportunity to engage in a blackmailing scheme to get the endorsement from an evangelical leader.

    #Heisgay
    #Sheisacougarslut
    #Coenisliarexceptrightnowheistellingthetruth
    #sorryfortheperfectstormhillaryitisnotyourfault

    Btw, did any of you Columbo types bother to listen to the recorded Cohen/Arnold conversation? Did you notice any odd details?

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I am tempted to say: If I made a wrong assumption about one of your takes I apologize Fake John Brown. I will gladly alter my reading of the dynamic between Fake JB and Trump2020 based upon feedback from you.

    However: I will point out though that the real accusation is not that Fake John Brown does not get jokes or understand satire. The accusation is that Fake John Brown, in addition to others in the mm.com community, is a brain washed practitioner of a dangerous form ideological thinking that manifests itself as not just false beliefs about the world but as false beliefs about other peoples beliefs about the world.

    You say I don’t have evidence that is true about you? The last sentence you wrote is a piece of evidence isn’t it? You said: “The point being that it doesn’t matter if its real or parody in that is representative of an actual phenomenon”.

    You, yourself, Fake John Brown, are serving up an example of one side of the equation I have defined as a “more dangerous form of ideology”. That is you just made a claim that you believe that, regardless of whether or not Trump2020 is parody, he (accurately ?) represents the way a swath of our population thinks. Good stuff Fake John Brown! Thanks!

    Now show me the demographic of people who think Pence is like an “archangel” and that Trump is like the second coming of Jesus.

    I offered above a quote, from Falwell, speaking to his followers, wherein he was very self-aware that Trump is very much not likely to be a good Sunday school teacher….

    Reconcile some facts, numb-nuts.

  25. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF, that stuff about Pence being the archangel caught me too. Did a google, came up with this reference.

    https://www.nairaland.com/3474024/last-trump-archangel-michael-bride

    Seems like Trump2020 is quoting these scriptures. You got to get to point 4 to find the Pence discussion.

  26. John Brown
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Marks next movie night should be a double feature “The trial of Ratko Mladic” followed by “The Trump prophecy”. That’s some scary stuff.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trump_Prophecy

  27. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Aloha JB, I want to watch “The Death of Stalin”, real life brings enough “scary” stuff to deal with. At this point in my life movies are more for entertainment than education.

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks Wobblie and JB for the resources and possible evidence for Trump2020 representing something in the real world. As of right now I have my doubts it is pervasive.

    Nairland is a weird but popular Nigerian forum, apparently.

    I promise to watch “The Trump Prophecy” and incorporate it into my thoughts insofar as it might be a piece of evidence for JB’s claim. I doubt it but you never know. For what it is worth, the people I talk with, who are simultaneously religious right-evangelical-types and Trump supporters universally recognize Trump as having some serious failings, but they also see him as a necessary stepping stone toward a better future for everyone. In that sense, in their minds, Trump is an unfolding of God’s plan…

    Never have I had the sense that these people think of Trump as a second coming of Holiness. Never. The only time I encounter that notion is when an atheist liberal is trying to charge hypocrisy.

  29. John Brown
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’d like to ask Fallwell Jr. where this $2 million dollar holy rollin trump ad fits into the pool boy events. To their credit some students protested the production of The trump prophecy by Liberty U.

  30. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I think “Pool Attendant” is the preferred title for a 21 year old man.

    I am curious though what exactly is the “Pool Attendant event” you are talking about? Seems like it could be any number of things. Or it could be nothing. Probably something but still….Perhaps Falwell is walking it like he talks it. Perhaps there was some blackmail going against Falwell? Perhaps Cohen had a reason to make up a story to Arnold about the Pics? What was that all about? Maybe Falwell’s wife is struggling with sex addiction? Maybe Falwell’s son, Trey, made some bad choices in college? Maybe Falwell is struggling with homosexuality? Maybe the hotel employees illegally filmed Falwell and his wife doing something kinky?

    What exactly is this event you are talking about?

    It is probably going to take me a while to watch the Liberty U production so I can’t comment on whether or not it fits into your view of “things”.

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    There are Kim Clement videos on youtube from the 2000’s where he is boldly and repeatedly “prophesying” the Trump presidency and the subsequent destruction of the globalists. I suspect he was taking advantage of some level of knowledge about the White Hat plan. He had some insider knowledge that there was a plan to take the country back for the people. Personal gain? The chance to appear to be a true prophet? Part of the plan? I don’t know but it is fascinating to consider the possibilities.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    If Liberty University produces the Trump Prophecy then I’d say you have shown FF to be ver wrong , John Brown.

    Please note he has not conceded a larger point though he was kind enough to condescendingly thank you for the info.

    FF is quick to condemn us for narrative bias and quick to excuse that in those on the right as some form of pragmatism. Since double standards are the key tell if narrative bias, j’accuse Ff. Which is really meaningless since all people demonstrate narrative bias. You are almost guaranteed to be right when you accuse someone of it. Discourse is necessary to break through it. But When you condemn or excuse based on ideology, and believe yourself free of bias, well then You’re dug in deep and discourse is fruitless. That’s why no intelligent person will engage with you Ff on the terms you set. And you are always trying to set the terms.

    Don’t you get bored of learning nothing ever?

  33. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    No one uses more words to say less. Verbal vomit

  34. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Aloha JB, have you had a chance to see it yet? Stalins Death and the Trump Prophecy could be a fun double feature. Watched this film the other day about what Evengelicals think is going on at CERN. It is a pretty fun video. FF, you should check it out too. It is amazing what ignorant people can be convinced of, but being a dolt I am sure I’ve been misled, probably by a demon.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk0Ax6Mlw4w

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Let me guess: Jean has not seen the movie and JB cannot articulate what exactly he is referring to when he says the “pool attendant event”.

    I want to watch the movie.

    I want to know more about your narratives.

    You don’t like to asked about your narrative. Ever! Gee, I wonder why?

  36. Trump 2020
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Zechariah 10:5 Together they warriers in battle trampling enemy into mud of streets. They fight because LORD is with them, and will put enemy horseriders to shame.

    The TRUMPet spoke and the enemies will be killed on battlefield of death, no more abortions and the heathens will be run over to die in streets, LAW and ORDER will prevail over Iran China Venezuela Honduras all other places that send Satan’s army to our great land t our boarders bringing disease and CRIME

    1 Corinthians 15:52 In moment, in eye, at the last TRUMP: for the TRUMPet shall speak, and dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall change.

  37. John Brown
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Whatever Cohen covered up for Fallwell Jr was worth an endorsement and a $2M movie. So, I’m just gonna go ahead and guess it more likely involves buggery with the 21 yr old hotel hydraulic reservoir engineer than godly procreative sex with Mrs. Jr.

  38. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    A right wing evangelical leader supported the probable and eventual nominee of the conservative party.

    #becauseblackmailviabuggerythatmayormaynothavehappened

  39. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted May 9, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Aloha Trump2020, Have you checked out the you tube video I posted above? It’s by Chuck Missler and Pastor Charles Lawson. Is this similar to your beliefs’? Please help this dolt out.

  40. Frosted Flakes
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been keeping up with the news much lately. Has anyone figured out how the Republican front runner and eventual nominee could have ever landed an endorsement from an evangelical leader? Still a mystery? Or are we still going with the theory that Trump probably used dirty pics, which may or may not exist, of a dirty act, which may or may not have happened, of Falwell, or someone else, or maybe nobody else, to blackmail Falwell, or not, to get his endorsement as the most holy leader, despite evidence of speeches where Falwell explains Trump is not the holiest leader but he is best suited to run the country anyway.

    (Just asking because I haven’t been following the news lately and I depend on the awesome insights of the mm.com community.)

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