Monday, 18 June, 2018

Falwell backs Trump on Charlottesville, admits president could be more 'politically correct'

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Christy Curtis | 21 August, 2017, 01:08

"I don't know if there were historical purists there who were trying to preserve some statues". The head of the evangelical university, located in Lynchburg, VA, was one of only a few people who publicly defended Trump after he sided with neo-Nazis at a Trump Tower press conference last Tuesday, following the Charlottesville violence.

Falwell waved off the alumni protest, saying his support for Trump, which included an endorsement during his presidential campaign, is misunderstood.

Falwell said, "One of the reasons I supported him is because he doesn't say what's politically correct".

On Monday, Trump had read from a teleprompter and condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name, two days after a Nazi sympathizer had used his auto to mow down counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Falwell said Sunday he was specifically lauding Trump's willingness to identify the groups and "call evil and terrorism by its name".

Raddatz asked Falwell Jr. why Trump would whitewash what happened in Charlottesville when the entire nation recognized that a white nationalist was responsible for the death of Heather Heyer.

"The American people have gotten sort of thin-skinned and I think they need to listen to the substance of what he said", said Falwell.

"I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists", Gaumer said.

"President Trump is something we haven't had in national leadership in a long time", Falwell told ABC's "This Week".

In the wake of Charlottesville, some Liberty University alumni announced they would return their diplomas to the school in protest of Falwell's continued support for Trump.

'And the president has made that clear, ' the evangelical leader added.

"That can't be your world view", she said. "You know, truly a turning away from wrong conduct".

Still, Falwell, who backed Trump before the 2016 Iowa Caucus, traditionally the first in the county, acknowledged that after talking to Jewish and African American colleagues and friends, he believed Trump perhaps could have chosen his words more carefully.

He went on to say Trump shows more "national leadership" and "substance over form" than the US has seen "in a long time".

"It really is a watershed moment to have people openly chanting Nazi chants. holding white supremacist signs, and carrying weapons along with all of that, and killing somebody, injuring many in the process", he said.

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