Jerry Falwell Jr.: Trump probably said "fine people" marched with white supremacists because "he has inside information"
On ABC, Trump ally Jerry Falwell Jr. says critics of Trump's Charlottesville comments are "thin-skinned"
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From the August 20 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
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MARTHA RADDATZ (HOST): On Twitter this week, you praised what you called the president's bold, truthful statement about Charlottesville, saying you were so proud of Donald Trump. But the president said Tuesday there were, quote, "very fine people on both sides." Who were those very fine people marching with the neo-Nazis?
JERRY FALWELL JR: 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. And that's something a leader should do, and I admire him for that. President Trump is something that we haven't had in national leadership in a long time. He's substance over form. So many of our politicians, recent leaders, national leaders, have been form over substance. They tell people what they want to hear. They sugar-coat everything, or they have sugar-coated everything. I think the American people have gotten sort of thin-skinned, and I think they need to listen to the substance of what he said. The only groups he identified by name as evil and causing what happened in Charlottesville were the Nazis, the KKK, and the white sumpremists. That's what I thought was bold and truthful.
RADDATZ: Well, let me tell you what he said, though. Let's go back to this. He said there were very fine people on both sides. Do you believe there were very fine people on both sides?
FALWELL: I have no idea. He has inside information that I don't have. I don't know if there were historical purists there who were trying to preserve some statues. I don't know. But he had information I didn't have, and I believe that he spoke what was --
RADDATZ: You think he knew that some people who were there --
FALWELL: I think he saw videos of who was there. I think he was talking about what he had seen, information that he had that I don't have. All I know is it was pure evil. The media has tried to paint this as Republican versus Democrat, black versus white, Jew versus gentile. But it's just pure evil versus good. And that's what we all need to unite behind -- we all need to unite behind stopping evil, with whether it's Timothy McVeigh, who was the terrorist in Oklahoma City, or it's Muslim terrorists in Barcelona or it's somebody flying a plane into the World Trade Center. It's all evil.
RADDATZ: But when you say things like that, when you say it's all evil, but you say you're so proud of Donald Trump, that's the message that resonated. It didn't resonate that you think he might have some information.