MICHAEL COHEN, SAYING: "There's a bunch of photographs, personal photographs, that somehow, the guy, ended up getting." It's in this phone call with actor Tom Arnold where President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen can be heard claiming to have helped keep racy 'personal photographs' of evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. from becoming public.
Falwell enlisted Cohen's help in 2015, according to the source close to Cohen, the year Trump announced his presidential candidacy.
A few months later, Falwell -- president of Liberty University, one of the world's largest Christian universities endorsed Trump, a game-changing moment for his 2016 campaign.
Reuters Aram Roston broke the story: (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS REPORTER Aram Roston SAYING: "At the time, now President Trump was competing for the Republican nomination against people like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, people with far more traditional evangelical credentials so this mattered to him a lot.
So to get the Falwell endorsement meant a lot.
Jerry Falwell was the first evangelical to back Trump And this resounding endorsement meant a lot because it meant other people who could now endorse this man who had conduct that conflicted with traditional evangelical values." Falwell's endorsement of Trump was a shock to some students and staff at Liberty University, where fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz had chosen to launch his campaign the previous year.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS REPORTER Aram Roston SAYING: "He fixed these problems for the president like allegedly this this settling these concerns about about affairs.
And so for him to be a friend as the Falwell's of theirs is highly unusual." Reuters has no evidence that Falwell's endorsement of Trump was related to Cohen's involvement in the photo matter.
One source insisted to Reuters that they were two separate issues.