Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the Christian college Liberty University, endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Jan. 26.
The son of the late televangelist Jerry Falwell said in a statement that Trump is “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again,” The Washington Post reports.
Trump has had three marriages, and his fortune was largely built on gambling casinos.
During interviews with shock jock Howard Stern in 2003 and 2001, Trump rated celebrity women by their bodies, talked about his 21-year-old daughter's body, and bragged about stealing the girlfriend of then-New York Daily News’ columnist A.J. Benza, noted The Daily Beast in 2015.
“It is truly an honor to receive Jerry’s endorsement," Trump said in a statement. "Not only is he a high-quality person, with a wonderful family, whom I have great respect for — I also consider him a very good friend and his support means so much to me.”
Trump recently spoke at Liberty University where he referred to "Second Corinthians" as "Two Corinthians" in the Bible.
Megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress, of First Baptist Dallas in Texas, flew to Sioux Center, Iowa, on Jan. 23 to introduce Trump during a rally at Dordt College, but he did not formally endorse Trump.
If Jeffress, who has introduced Trump before, were to formally endorse Trump then his church’s tax exempt non-profit status might be in jeopardy, per IRS laws, The Dallas Morning News notes.
“Although as a pastor I cannot officially endorse a candidate, I want you to know I would not be here this morning if I were not absolutely convinced that Donald Trump would make a great president of the United States," Jeffress said in his non-endorsement.
"And most Americans know we are in a mess, and as they look at Donald Trump they believe he is the one leader who can reverse the downward death spiral of this nation we love so dearly," he added.