Falwell Says If Anything, He’s Been ‘Too Merciful’ With Liberty University Employees

President of Liberty University Jerry Falwell, Jr. waits to speak during Liberty University's commencement ceremony May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should re... President of Liberty University Jerry Falwell, Jr. waits to speak during Liberty University's commencement ceremony May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, dismissed the recent articles detailing his alleged financial schemes and “culture of fear” he perpetrated at the college, saying that if anything he’s been “too merciful” with his employees.

“We have 9,500 employees, and I’m sure it’s easy to find 10 or 12 who are upset because they didn’t get a promotion or something,” he told Charisma, a Christian magazine based in Florida. “But if anything, I’ve been too merciful. I’ve let people stay much longer than I should have when they were incompetent, because I felt bad for their families.”

Much of the content of the articles, which span from Falwell apparently crafting deals to benefit his friends and disparaging students and administrators of the school, comes from leaked emails. Falwell has asked the FBI to investigate, though it’s not clear that the agency is doing so.

“We have nothing to hide,” Falwell told the magazine. “That’s why I felt I had no choice but to call the FBI, because these people are just bitter and angry. Liberty did struggle for years financially, and these people came in a with a plan to try to push me out—we have emails to prove it—and to take over, thinking that we would need their financial help.”

“But if the FBI decides they don’t want to prosecute—but I think they might—we have a civil action plan,” he added. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to the school to do what’s in the best interest of the school and expose these folks.”

Falwell attributes the recent damning articles to his allegiance to President Donald Trump.

“Everybody who supports [Trump] has been tagged recently,” he says. “I’ve been finding out from different people—I won’t name names—but there have been hit pieces on almost every one of them. I think they can’t get to him because he’s so tough, so now they’re going after anybody who supported him. And good luck to them, because I’m going to have fun with it.”

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