Falwell releases statement regarding 'Liberty United Against Trump'

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CNN – LYNCHBURG (CNN) - Students at the largest Christian university in the world are protesting their president's support of Donald Trump, saying that the Republican presidential nominee "is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose."

Some student body members of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, posted a detailed letter taking a stand against their university president ,Jerry Falwell, Jr., an early Trump supporter who has invited political candidates like Trump, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders and Mike Pence to speak at before his students.

A student group called Liberty United Against Trump published its grievances online.

"We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell's endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history," according to a tweet from the group's social media coordinator Tyler McNally.

Another member of the group, Dustin Wahl, told CNN in an email that since publishing the letter at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, they had more than 200 signatures from fellow students by Wednesday evening. The students took action so that "the world understands how many Liberty students do not support President Falwell in his endorsement of Donald Trump."

On Thursday, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. released a statement regarding the group Liberty United Against Trump.

I am proud of these few students for speaking their minds. It is a testament to the fact that Liberty University promotes the free expression of ideas unlike many major universities where political correctness prevents conservative students from speaking out. However, I am afraid the statement is false in several respects. First, the statement claims that a "majority" of Liberty faculty, staff and students are not supporting Donald Trump. It is true that Donald Trump lost in the Virginia primary at Liberty's precinct when there were many Republican candidates still in the race but, when Mike Pence spoke to many thousands of students at Liberty yesterday, he was applauded when he spoke of the importance of supporting Donald Trump for president. In fact, he received five standing ovations during his speech. The group of students now speaking out against Trump represents a very small percentage of the Liberty student body of 15,000 resident students and 90,000 online students. The group (led by a never Trump activist, I am told) claims to have between 200 and 1200 signatures on a petition but admits that many of these signatories are not Liberty students. The student statement also falsely claims that I am "touring the country" and associating Liberty University with Trump. The fact is I traveled with the Trump campaign only one weekend in January and I always make it clear to the media that my endorsement of Trump is my personal endorsement only and that I am not speaking for Liberty University, its students, faculty or staff. I am only fulfilling my obligation as a citizen to ‘render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's' by expressing my personal opinion about who I believe is best suited to lead our nation in a time of crisis.