President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen reportedly hired a technology consulting company to make a Twitter fan account that would depict him as a “sex symbol.”
John Gauger, who owns RedFinch Solutions and is the chief information officer at Liberty University in Virginia, told The Wall Street Journal Cohen owes him money for various work he thought he was doing for Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Cohen allegedly asked Gauger, among other requests, during the presidential election to create a Twitter account called @WomenForCohen. The account’s bio reads: “Women who love and support Michael Cohen. Strong, pit bull, sex symbol, no nonsense, business oriented, and ready to make a difference!”
The account, which is still active as of Thursday, was created in May 2016 and contains multiple tweets lauding Cohen for being an “amazing leader” and refers to him as “#sexy.”
The account was run by one of Gauger’s female friends, Gauger told TheWSJ.
It has just under 700 followers and is full of retweets of other Twitter users praising Cohen and thanking him for the work he’s doing on behalf of then-candidate Trump.
— Women For Cohen (@WomenForCohen) June 10, 2016
When Cohen asked the Trump Organization for a $130,000 reimbursement for the hush payment to porn actress Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, he reportedly included a handwritten note requesting another $50,000 for “tech services.”
People familiar with the matter told TheWSJ tech services referred to RedFinch.
Executives at the Trump Organization gave Cohen the $50,000 in 2017, and reportedly never asked what it was for, according to people familiar with the organization.
— Women For Cohen (@WomenForCohen) August 25, 2016
Cohen and Gauger’s relationship began long before the 2016 election, he told TheWSJ. (RELATED: This Could Be Why Michael Cohen Agreed To Testify Before Congress)
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. invited Trump to give a speech, and Cohen went with him. Cohen was later introduced to Gauger, who gave him his cell number and reportedly set up an Instagram account for the lawyer.
Cohen asked Gauger over the following years for various tech assistance, including asking Gauger to create services that would boost positive results in internet-search results for Cohen and his friends. Cohen rarely paid for these services, Gauger said, but always promised to make business connections for Gauger in the future.
“Mr. Cohen promised but never was able to develop the business he predicted,” Gauger’s lawyer, Charles E. James Jr., told TheWSJ.
— Women For Cohen (@WomenForCohen) July 29, 2016
Regarding Trump, Cohen began asking in 2014 if Gauger could manipulate online polls in favor of Trump, for example a 2014 CNBC poll identifying the top businessman in the United States.
Later, Cohen asked Gauger to write computer scripts that would repeatedly vote online in favor of Trump as the presidential race neared.
Gauger went to Trump Tower in 2015 requesting the $50,000 he says Cohen owed him for the work on the polls leading up to the election. Instead, Cohen gave him “a blue Walmart bag containing between $12,000 and $13,000 in cash and, randomly, a boxing glove that Mr. Cohen said had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter,” according to TheWSJ.
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