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Michael Cohen discussed mysterious $1.8 million loan to pool boy that Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife befriended: report

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Jerry Falwell Jr. confirmed that he loaned $1.8 million to a young pool attendant he and his wife had befriended while staying six years ago at a luxury hotel.

Buzzfeed News had previously reported on a lawsuit that claimed the evangelical leader and his wife had developed a “friendly relationship” in 2012 with Giancarlo Granda, then 21 years old, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, and Falwell confirmed in a court filing that he helped set up the younger man in business.

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A source close to Falwell told Buzzfeed News he was “sure” Falwell had discussed the Granda case with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who was sentenced earlier this month to three years in prison as part of a case involving payoffs to Trump mistresses.

Buzzfeed said there was “no evidence” that the discussions played a role in Falwell’s subsequent decision to endorse Trump for president.

“My wife and I provided a loan of $1 million,” Falwell said. “Later, my wife and I provided additional funds of $800,000 for renovations of Alton Hostel which are being treated as an additional loan.”

A father-and-son duo who also participated in the business filed a lawsuit last year claiming they were pushed out of the deal, and that filing revealed Falwell’s involvement.

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Falwell filed an affidavit this month in response to the suit, saying he gave Granda the loan “in exchange for his agreement to serve as local manager.”

The filing does not explain why Falwell invested so heavily in the hostel or why Granda was hired as the manager despite having no relevant experience in real estate or hotel management.

Granda was introduced in 2012 to Trump, then a reality TV star and real estate mogul, at Liberty University, where the celebrity businessman was giving a convocation speech, which was also attended by Cohen.

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It’s not clear why Granda, who was not a Liberty student, was at the Christian university.

(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly claimed that Michael Cohen helped broker the payment between Jerry Falwell Jr. and Giancarlo Granda. We regret the error.)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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