There are times when all you can do is laugh.
Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American) reports on the latest Jerry Falwell Jr. scandal. Juicy!
Former president of Liberty University Jerry Falwell, Jr., has resigned from his position after a former pool attendant, Giancarlo Granda, went public about a sexual arrangement he had with Falwell and his wife for six years, in which Granda and Becki Falwell had sex while Jerry Falwell watched. Yesterday, the Washington Examiner published a story in which Falwell claimed that he and his wife were being blackmailed because Becki had had an affair, and the fallout from the affair had driven Falwell into depression.
This is a major political story because Falwell Jr., the son of the Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., is an important figure in the evangelical community, and his sudden and unexpected endorsement of Donald Trump in 2016 brought evangelicals to the thrice-married and unreligious long-shot candidate, rather than to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who expected Falwell’s support. Falwell, who is a lawyer and real estate developer rather than a minister, said he was endorsing Trump out of respect for his business experience.
Now, of course, that picture looks different. There were apparently photos that reflected the Falwell-Granda arrangement in some fashion, and Michael Cohen, Trump’s fixer, in 2015 was involved in making them go away and so got his hands on them. He also brokered Falwell’s endorsement of Trump. How exactly all that transpired is unclear, but it seems likely that Falwell’s endorsement was related to his desire to make sure the story of his unusual marital arrangement did not become public. As Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo put it: “Trump Owned Jerry and Jerry Knew It.”
You cannot make this sh!t up.
Charlie Sykes in this morning’s bulwark.com has some things to add.
The scriptwriters for 2020 have really upped their game with the latest developments about Jerry Falwell Jr. and the pool boy. Falwell apparently liked to watch.
We got mixed reports yesterday about whether he has resigned, would resign, or would be fired. And no, it won’t make any difference at all to evangelical voters in the election.
Finally, consider this tweet, also reported by Sykes:
Jerry Falwell Jr steps down, says he wants to spend more time watching his family.