Trump accidentally revives Falwell-linked polling scandal by tweeting about rigged polls
Jerry Falwell Jr. (left) and Donald Trump (right). Image via Falwell's Twitter.

President Donald Trump stomped into this week's news hole by reminding his followers of a rigged polling scandal involving Jerry Falwell Jr.


New polling shows Trump's approval rating has slipped again, and he accused media outlets of rigging their data against him -- while touting his re-election campaign's internal polling.

"One of the greatest and most powerful weapons used by the Fake and Corrupt News Media is the phony Polling Information they put out," Trump tweeted. "Many of these polls are fixed, or worked in such a way that a certain candidate will look good or bad. Internal polling looks great, the best ever!"

However, the mention of rigged polling called to mind a past scandal involving fixers for both Trump and Falwell -- who's the subject of a bombshell report exposing his personal and business immorality.

The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, now serving three years in prison for campaign finance violation and other charges, had paid Falwell's chief information officer to rig early polls in the Trump's favor ahead of the 2016 election.

The former Trump Organization attorney, who has agreed to cooperate in multiple investigations involving the president, paid tech businessman John Gauger up to $13,000 for his work.

Gauger, who owns RedFinch Solutions LLC and oversees information technology at Liberty University, told the Journal he got a blue Walmart bag full of cash from Cohen, along with a boxing glove the attorney claimed had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.

Cohen insists that he paid by check, and Gauger says he was never paid the full $50,000 he was promised -- although the president's former attorney was reimbursed that amount from Trump and his company for RedFinch's work.

According to the new Politico report published Monday, Falwell asked Gauger to help him scrub online photos showing the evangelical university president and his son partying at a Miami Beach nightclub.

Gauger told the Journal that he tried unsuccessfully to rig two online polls for Trump in 2015, and Cohen also asked him to help promote himself.

The attorney asked the tech officer to create a Twitter account called @WomenForCohen, which a woman friend of Gauger ran starting in May 2016, to praise Cohen’s looks and character.