Two evangelical Christian leaders are sticking by President Donald Trump — which baffles liberal media outlets like CNN.
The confusion follows comments by Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins (pictured above right), who acknowledged the chief executive’s past extramarital affairs; but he told Politico on Tuesday that Trump got a “mulligan” from some prominent Christian leaders because he’s solidly pro-life and pro-Israel.
Evangelicals like Perkins fervently oppose unrestricted abortion and defend Israel for its role as God’s chosen people from biblical times.
"We kind of gave him — 'All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,'" Perkins told Politico's Off Message podcast.
The remark rippled through liberal-leaning media outlets, which often seem obsessed and mystified by the depth of evangelical support for Trump. When Erin Burnett of CNN had Perkins on her Tuesday night show, for example, she proceeded to interrogate him.
The latest liberal Exhibit A was the allegation reported by The Wall Street Journal that Trump had sex with a porn star in 2006. The woman, Stormy Daniels, had met Trump at a golf event in Nevada.
Trump had been married for a year to Melania Trump, who had given birth a few months earlier. Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) now denies things she told Us Weekly in 2011, and she retracted her remarks. The Journal reported that Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $120,000 for her to keep quiet just before the 2016 presidential election.
But CNN can't let it go, as
Even so, Burnett insisted Christians should abandon Trump based on their morality and the retracted claims of a porn star. She also pressed Perkins on the use of the word "mulligan."
Perkins explained said that, initially, he supported one of Trump's Republican primary opponents. Today, Donald Trump is the president, and he has frequently acted as he promised evangelicals he would.
"If this behavior were occurring today right now as he is president of the United States, I can assure you that my support and the support of evangelicals would be dissipating very rapidly," said Perkins. "But we are talking about something that occurred 10 years ago."
Perkins added that "yes, evangelical conservatives gave him a mulligan. They let him have a do-over. They said, 'We'll start fresh with you and give you a second chance.' And there are people, evangelicals, who understand what a second chance means. And that's what that comment was made in the context of."
Burnett then played the 2005 Access Hollywood audio in which Trump boasted to host Billy Bush, off camera, that he could get away with touching and kissing beautiful women in their most private parts.
Perkins said his support was not unconditional, and that Trump could not behave in such ways today without consequences.
"These alleged affairs — they're alleged with Trump — didn't happen while he was in office," said Graham.
On another front, Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, vigorously defended Trump on Don Lemon's "CNN Tonight."
"These alleged affairs — they're alleged with Trump — didn't happen while he was in office," Graham (pictured above left) told Lemon.
Lemon suggested Graham was justifying the Machiavellian concept that the ends justify the means — in this case, that evangelicals are supporting Trump for political convenience.
Graham said a lot of the charges against Trump are allegations, or they involve charges that go back years.
"I've never seen anyone get attacked like he gets attacked," said Graham. "He's attacked by the media every day."
Last Modified: January 25, 2018, 6:57 am