Liberty Graduates to return diplomas protesting President Trump

Liberty Graduates to return diplomas protesting President Trump

Some of those protesting, Falwell suggested, may have been "historical purists" who were upset about the efforts of Charlottesville officials to remove from a park a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized Trump for suggesting "moral equivalency" between the white nationalists and counterprotesters at the Charlottesville event.

He also noted that as part of his commentary on the Charlottesville violence, Trump had labeled as "evil" white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members.

'And that's one of the reasons I supported him, ' he added.

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. "I think he was talking about what he had seen, information that he had that I don't have".

Some Liberty University graduates plan to send back their diplomas to the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Virginia, to protest the college president's unwavering support of President Donald Trump, which they say has left them "with shame and anger".

"But he does not have a racist bone in his body". Falwell said people merely misunderstood the president. The letter on the group's Facebook page says Falwell, son of the university's founder, has failed to condemn "things which are patently against the religion he and LU claim".

"I'm sending my diploma back because the president of the United States is defending Nazis and white supremacists", Liberty graduate Chris Gaumer, who is a former Student Government Association president at the university, told NPR.

Falwell invited Trump to give the first commencement speech of his term as president to Liberty University graduates.

Falwell later followed up with a tweet calling white supremacists, Nazis, and other hate groups "pure evil and un-American".

Raddatz pressed hard over Trump's remark that there were "very fine people on both sides".

"We're asking that Liberty University return to its stated values and accept that the pursuit of power is leading it into some dark places, and really repudiate that", she said.

Falwell Jr. insisted that the president was not a racist, but no one should see the Evangelical leader as an authority figure on racism.

"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.