Donald Trump's Holy War? Spokesman Defends 'Get Even' Comment At Christian University
ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:
During a convocation speech on Monday at the Lynchburg, Virginia Christian college, Liberty University, Donald Trump gave the students some advice: "Get even."
"I always say don't let people take advantage - this goes for a country, too, by the way - don't let people take advantage. Get even. And you know, if nothing else, others will see that and they're going to say, 'You know, I'm going to let Jim Smith or Sarah Malone, I'm going to let them alone because they're tough customers," Trump said in his remarks.
Those comments sparked an outcry from critics who said Trump was out of line to preach his gospel of "get even" at a place that reveres Christian values.
But, Trump's office is determined to get the last word. In a statement, Trump's special counsel, Michael Cohen, said he checked with a university official on the appropriateness of Trump's comment.
The verdict? "Jesus would 'get even.'"
"The biased liberal media continues to distort the success of Mr. Trump's speech at Liberty University to more than 10,000 students. Most recently they question his advice to the student body 'to get even' and call the statement anti-Christian. Wrong!" Michael Cohen said in a statement to ABC News. " I conferred with Johnnie Moore at Liberty University and questioned whether Jesus would 'get even.' The answer is 'he would & he did.' Johnny explained that the bible is filled with stories of God getting even with his enemies, Jesus got even with the Pharisees and Christians believe that Jesus even got even with Satan by rising from the dead. God is portrayed as giving grace, but he is also portrayed as one tough character - just as Trump stated."
Moore is identified on Liberty University's website is vice president for executive projects for the college and "primarily oversees the Office of Spiritual Programs (which includes Convocation), the Center for Global Engagement and he serves as an assistant to Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr." He is also a spokesman for the university.
In a brief interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Moore stood by his statement to Trump's office.
The university has posted a video of Trump's speech on its website, noting that Chancellor Falwell introduced Trump as "one of the greatest visionaries of our time."