Students at Liberty University have spoken out against the Christian school’s president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., for supporting Donald Trump. But that got just a passing mention when Falwell visited Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor Friday night to promote his continuing support for Trump.
Substitute host Bret Baier noted in his introduction that “students at Liberty University are denouncing” Falwell for supporting Trump. But Baier didn’t mention why a group of students have come out against Falwell: because they think his endorsement of Trump undercuts the school’s integrity. From The Huffington Post:
The group, Liberty United Against Trump, released a statement earlier this week arguing that the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., had linked the school and Trump. The group noted that any member of the school’s faculty would be fired for bragging about kissing and groping women the way that Trump has.
“A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women,” the statement, which also serves as a petition, reads. “Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense ― taking the name ‘Liberty University’ with him. ‘We’re all sinners,’ Falwell told the media, as if sexual assault is a shoulder-shrugging issue rather than an atrocity which plagues college campuses across America, including our own.”
Furthermore, the students are not the only ones upset with Falwell’s support for Trump. A few months ago, a key university board member resigned in disgust over Falwell ‘s endorsement.
But instead of discussing the controversy, Baier moved along and allowed Falwell the entire segment to pitch his continued support for Trump.
FALWELL: I believe Donald Trump. I believe he’s a good man. I believe that he’s denied all these allegations. I believe he’s telling the truth. I think he’s a different person than he was 11 years ago when he spoke on that video tape.↓ Story continues below ↓
…I think he’s been changed by his children, his grandchildren and by all the American people, the interaction with the voters…
…It’s just too coincidental that all these ladies came out at the same time. It has the appearance of being orchestrated by the Democrats. The timing is just too convenient. They could have told these stories months ago, years ago but it’s very suspicious.
The night before, a People magazine editor said, on Fox News, that there had been no contact with any Democrats before publishing a reporter's disturbing account of being assaulted by Trump. Baier did not mention it.
Furthermore, as Rolling Stone explains, there are lots of reasons the women probably didn’t want to come forward until they saw Trump insisting, during Sunday night’s debate, that he had never actually engaged in the sexual assault he was seen bragging about in the now-infamous Access Hollywood video.
Baier didn’t challenge Falwell about that, either.
Baier did ask about evidence the Trump campaign claims to have exonerating him from the sexual abuse claims.
Falwell said Trump has told him, there’s “email evidence of some of these ladies expressing their admiration for him after the supposed events took place.” He added, “And I believe some of them may have been asking for employment.”
But Falwell also admitted, “I haven’t seen the emails and the other evidence.”
Gee, he’s not wondering why Trump hasn’t come forward with the evidence, the way the ladies accusing him were supposed to.
But that’s not why Falwell doesn’t believe the women. The circumstances “were just suspicious,” he said.
To his credit, Baier did kinda, sort question Falwell’s assumption that all of Trump’s accusers (eight so far, Baier said) are liars. He asked, “Do you feel for them at all if any of them are telling the truth?”
“Of course, of course,” Falwell said. “I mean, if they are telling the truth, I mean, it’s…”
And without finishing that sentence, Falwell segued immediately into criticizing Hillary Clinton for not believing her husband’s accusers and attacking them.
Except the problem is, what the Trump accusers say matches exactly what Trump has bragged about doing. I’m not a fan of conservative Ben Shapiro but he hit the nail on the head Thursday night on The Kelly File:
SHAPIRO: But the person who is mainly responsible for stabbing Donald Trump is Donald Trump who continues to stab himself in the chest with his own libido. You know you do that for 20 years and then you’re surprised when somebody brings it up a month before the election. The problem for Trump here is that it’s not a he said/she said. It’s a he said and she confirmed.
Baier didn’t point that out, either. Nor the fact that Trump “defended” himself from the People reporter’s accusation by saying she was too ugly to abuse. That’s not exactly the behavior of a changed man.
Instead, Baier changed the subject to ask Falwell if he agrees with Dr. Ben Carson that morality has to take a back seat to the supposedly dire condition in our country that requires a Trump as commander-in-chief.
In short, yes, because of the Supreme Court.
FALWELL: We could see Hillary Clinton’s appointees affecting the direction of this country for 40 years, long after Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are gone. And I think that’s what conservatives need and evangelicals are focused on. They’re focused on America’s future, not Trump’s past.
In other words, this supposedly devout Christian is perfectly willing to overlook Trump’s record of lying, racism, misogyny and now sexual abuse because he’ll likely appoint anti-abortion, anti-gay justices to the Supreme Court.
No wonder the students are so furious.
Watch it above, from the October 14, 2016 The O’Reilly Factor.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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