Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Jerry Falwell Jr. confirmed to the Washington Post Wednesday that he'll receive $10.5 million from Liberty University after resigning following a Reuters story alleging that he and his wife had a years-long intimate relationship with business partner Giancarlo Granda.

What he's saying: Falwell told WashPost Liberty's board was "gracious not to challenge" his severance package of $2.5 million over the next two years, during which he can't work for a rival institution, and a further $8 million in retirement, per his 2019 contract.

The state of play: Liberty University said it accepted the resignation of Jerry Falwell Jr. on Tuesday effective immediately, following a Reuters story alleging that he and his wife had engaged in a years-long intimate relationship with business partner Giancarlo Granda.

  • The university said in a statement to news outlets including Axios that Falwell sent a resignation letter late Monday night after first agreeing to resign and then reversing course.
  • Liberty's Board of Trustees unanimously voted to affirm Falwell's resignation on Tuesday morning, the university said in a statement. The board plans to meet in Lynchburg to form a search committee for a new president.

Of note: Liberty said Monday that Falwell agreed to resign as its president and from its board of directors, but "following media reports about the resignation, withdrew it."

  • The university said since the evangelical leader and outspoken Trump ally had taken an "indefinite leave of absence" over an earlier incident "additional matters came to light that made it clear that it would not be in the best interest of the University for him to return from leave and serve as President."
  • Falwell "responded by agreeing to resign immediately," the statement continued, "but then instructed his attorneys to not tender the letter for immediate resignation."

The big picture: Falwell had agreed to the indefinite leave of absence on Aug. 7 after posting a photo of himself with unzipped pants and an arm around a woman on social media.

  • The Reuters report, which came after Falwell claimed he was extorted by former pool attendant Granda over his wife's affair, only intensified calls for his resignation.
  • Falwell also faced criticism for his controversial political statements and decision to bring students back to campus in March, despite the threat of the coronavirus.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest details on Falwell's resignation and the fallout from the Reuters report.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.

The perils of organizing underground

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers see one bright spot as far-right extremists turn to private and encrypted online platforms: Friction.

Between the lines: For fringe organizers, those platforms may provide more security than open social networks, but they make it harder to recruit new members.