Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. on Tuesday defended the Trump administration amid criticism over conditions migrant children have faced in U.S. detention facilities.

Falwell lashed out at Russell D. Moore, a theologian and president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, for criticizing the administration following reports of detained migrant children held in unsanitary and inadequate conditions.

“The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences,” Moore said in a tweet Tuesday morning. “Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this.”

In a direct response to Moore, Falwell criticized the preacher, asking him at one point in his tweet: “What gives you authority to speak on any issue?”


“Who are you @drmoore? Have you ever made a payroll?” Falwell wrote.

“Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch?” he added. “What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.”

Falwell’s tweet racked up a little more than 250 likes as of Tuesday evening, but the post garnered over 5,000 replies, the bulk of which criticized his comments.

Falwell, the president of Liberty University, has long been a staunch supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials’ powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE and recently used his platform on Twitter to advocate for a two-year extension of the president’s current term.

The evangelical leader reasoned at the time that Trump should have two years added to his term for what he called “pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”

Falwell’s remarks about the detention facilities come amid a wave of reports highlighting the conditions migrant children face in U.S. custody.

A physician who was called to visit a U.S. border facility in McAllen, Texas, last week after five infants held there were placed into neonatal intensive care due to a flu outbreak compared conditions at the facilities to “torture.”

In her medical declaration, the physician, Dolly Lucio Sevier, wrote that minors at the McAllen facility were forced to endure “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”

Trump on Monday asserted that migrant detention facilities are better than they were under former President Obama.

“The conditions are much better than they were under President Obama,” Trump said during an exclusive interview with The Hill.

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