Trump cheers Falwell for 'fantastic' defense on 'Fox and Friends'

Trump cheers Falwell for 'fantastic' defense on 'Fox and Friends'
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President Trump on Monday applauded evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. for defending Trump's controversial response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

“Jerry Falwell of Liberty University was fantastic on @foxandfriends. The Fake News should listen to what he had to say. Thanks Jerry!” Trump tweeted. 

The president then responded to a Twitter user who said the media is trying to “take you down,” claiming “the very dishonest Fake News media is out of control!”

The user retweeted by Trump had begun tweeting exclusively about Trump just three days ago and had no tweets in his account before Friday.

With other Republicans refusing to publicly defend Trump, the White House is relying on Falwell as a top surrogate for the president. 

“President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE does not have a racist bone in his body,” Falwell said Monday morning on “Fox & Friends.” “I know him well. He loves all people; he’s worked so hard to help minorities in the inner cities.”

Falwell was one of just a small handful of defenders who appeared on the Sunday political talk shows, which focused on a turbulent week in which the president dismissed one of his top aides and saw business leaders distance themselves from him over his comments about the Charlottesville white supremacist rally. 

Before his appearance on ABC's “This Week,” host Martha Raddatz said that “when we asked the White House for an official who could appear on this program today to speak on behalf of the president, they pointed us” to Falwell. 

The Liberty University president was a staunch supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign and invited him to the school in May to deliver its commencement address. But his relationship with the president has sparked a backlash in the wake of Charlottesville among some students and alumni, who are promising to return their diplomas.