ABC Anchor Grills Falwell on Trump Support After Charlottesville

Posted August 22, 2017

Dozens of Liberty University alumni plan to return their diplomas in protest after the university's leader, Jerry Falwell Jr., defended President Donald Trump's response to the white supremacist rally and deadly auto attack in Charlottesville, VA.

Falwell tried to sidestep criticism of Trump's statement on Tuesday that there were "fine people" among the neo-Nazis, arguing that the president "has inside information that I don't have".

President Trump poses with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., during commencement at Liberty University May 13 in Lynchburg, Va.

The alumni group has more than 300 members on Facebook.

"As alums, we have the power to say something", the Facebook group's description says, urging alumni to mail their diplomas to Falwell's office on September 5, along with explanatory letters.

Chris Gaumer, a former Student Government Association president and 2006 graduate, said it was a simple decision.

A university spokesman did not respond to an email Sunday requesting comment. 'I know him well'.

Asked by Raddatz what he meant, Falwell Jr. said, "The bold and truthful statements I was referring to were his willingness to call evil and terrorism by its name, to identify the groups, the Nazis, the KKK, the white supremacists".

Asked by ABC News's Martha Raddatz whether the president could have been "a little more careful in his words", Falwell said: "All of us could".

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Falwell was the Trump administration's go-to guy on Sunday, offering him up as a surrogate instead of sending anyone from the White House to the weekly political interview shows.

Hamann snapped back at that assessment, saying such praise for someone being politically incorrect without concern over the possible repercussions is "just so troubling".

Falwell reiterated his arguments on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning, explaining why Trump should be commended not only for his response to Charlottesville, but his policy agenda.

"The Fake News should listen to what he had to say", Trump tweeted.

"That can't be your world view", she said.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump said shortly after the violence. "It shouldn't be 'politically correct" to extend kindness to the hurting, condemnation to the wrongdoers. "But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides", the president said. She said she did not receive a response, and she doesn't expect that to change.

"All I know is it was pure evil, ' Falwell said of those attending the 'Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

'If some [body] showed up and they saw that they were marching beside somebody who hates blacks, who hates Jews, who wants to do violence, I think they should just walk away, yes, ' Falwell urged.