The son of the Moral Majority founder and the president of Liberty University told WABC radio host Rita Crosby shortly after Sunday’s presidential debate that Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) and other Republican leaders used the recently released lewd tape of Donald J. Trump to execute a putsch against the GOP nominee for president.
“I think this whole tape… video tape thing was planned, I think it was timed, I think it might have even been a conspiracy among establishment Republicans who have known about it for weeks and who tried to time it to do the maximum damage to Donald Trump, and I just… I just think it just backfired on them,” said Jerry Fawell Jr., an attorney, who succeeded his father at the helm of the Lynchburg, Virginia college.
Monday the speaker told members of the Republican House Conference that he would not campaign with Trump, nor would he defend Trump, according to an NBC News report based on a background conversation with a Ryan spokesman. NBC was the owner of the Access Hollywo0d tape that The Washington Post released Friday revealing the GOP nominee using direct and foul language in reference to courtship and the way women interact with celebrities.
Falwell told Cosby he was upset by the tape and how it was received by members of his family, but it did not shake his support for the New York City developer.
Cosby asked Falwell if his narrative was conjecture and he told her it was based on real conversations he had with people familiar with Republican conspirators.
Falwell, who endorsed Trump in January, said, “I just think some of the establishment Republicans—I’m not going to name any names, I’ve got some independent information, but I’m not going… I’m not going to reveal it on the air—but I think some of the establishment folks who reluctantly endorsed him had this planned all along as a way to slither out of the endorsement, and I think it backfired on them, and I’m glad to see that.”
When Crosby pressed Falwell, he was more direct: “It wasn’t a coincidence that it came out right before Trump was supposed to appear with Paul Ryan at a rally, and it conveniently gave Paul Ryan a way to disinvite Trump.”
The Trump surrogate said he has heard for a while from trusted Republican sources that something was being planned that would allow the GOP leaders to take Trump off the ticket.
“It was just something that, that I was told was going to come down in October,” he said. “It would probably result in Trump not being the nominee.”