Republican political adviser Peter Wehner, who previously advised Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, used a Saturday CNN interview to blast evangelical Christians that support President Donald Trump. During a conversation with host Michael Smerconish, Newsweek reports that Wehner said that evangelical protestants — seven-in-10 of whom approve of Trump’s handling of his job — are backing the president due to misguided goals.
“The bottom line is that he will fight for them,” Wehner said, referring to Trump. “Not that he himself is of Christian faith. Not even he himself is a manifestation of Christian virtues, but they feel like they’re involved in an existential struggle against a malicious enemy that they consider to be the American Left. And Trump will try and vanquish that enemy.”
Wehner claims that evangelicals support Trump because he has the same enemies they do. He claims they believe that Trump has what it takes to defeat the people and the groups they perceive as threatening.
According to Wehner, watching his fellow Christians blindly support the president was a “painful” experience. He pointed to the “discrediting” the movement is doing to the Christian faith and says they have shown a “tremendous amount of hypocrisy.” Wehner highlighted the focus on “character” and “personal integrity” evangelicals focused on during the administration of Bill Clinton, and the seemingly tossing aside of these values with Trump.
“I think a lot of these white evangelical leaders are doing more to hurt Christianity than the so-called New Atheists ever could.”
As Newsweek reports, Trump’s evangelical support is curious, as he has shown a lack of understanding of scripture and embraced policies that appear to conflict with Christian values. Regardless, Christian leaders from the Grand Old Party (GOP) like Lindsay Graham and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Christian leaders like Texas pastor Jack Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., continue to support the president.
Yahoos News reports that former Republican National Committee Chairman (RNC) Michael Steele made similar comments about Trump’s evangelical supporters that were published in a new book by journalist Tim Alberta called American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump. Per The Inquisitr, Steele said that this group looks past Trump’s actions because he is paving the way to overturning Roe v. Wade, and claims that Trump is “disrespecting God’s children at every turn” but his Christian supporters are fine because the president “gave them two Supreme Court justices.”
Steele claims that outside of evangelicals’ support for Trump, the group has pushed him to the edge after aggressively preaching their values to others for the last forty years, and he wishes they would stop.