During a meeting with evangelical leaders, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump questioned the faith of Hillary Clinton and warned against praying for political leaders who had “damaged Christianity” in the past.
On Tuesday, the billionaire real estate mogul met with nearly 100,000 evangelical leaders in New York City, including Tony Perkins (Family Research Council) and Tim Wildmon (American Family Association). The meeting was convened by former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and the nonpartisan My Faith Votes organization.
Despite the words found in 1st Timothy 2:1-2 – “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men for kings and all those in authority” – Trump advised against praying for political leaders who exhibited anti-Christian behavior: “We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes and it is a very bad thing that is happening,” he said at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City, ABC News reports.
“I think people who are saying let’s pray for our leaders; you can pray for your leaders and I agree with that; pray for everyone,” Trump added. “But what we really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote, and for one specific person.”
The GOP frontrunner directly pointed to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, warning that she will only be an “extension of Obama” – but worse.
“I don’t think about Hillary in terms of religion,” Trump said. “She’s been in the public eye for years and years and yet there’s nothing out there, there’s, like, nothing out there.”
He added,”She’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse because with Obama, you had your guard up, with Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse.
Although the meeting with Trump was closed to the press, a video of Trump’s Christianity remark was posted to Twitter by conservative Virginia pastor and founder of the S.T.A.N.D. conservative non-profit organization E.W. Jackson.
Trump also referred to himself as a “tremendous Christian” and told evangelical leaders, “I’m on your side.”
“Christianity, I owe so much to it in many ways,” he added. “Through life, through having incredible children, through so many other things. But also from frankly, standing here because the evangelical vote was mostly gotten by me.”