Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to British broadcaster Sky News on Wednesday and accused Donald Trump of attempting to co-opt the Christian religion for political purposes.
“That has been a pattern,” Clinton said. “He’s tried to hijack Christianity and the Bible in ways that are deeply hypocritical and that was just another occasion.”
Clinton pointed to Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C., earlier this month, where he held up a Bible in an appearance that was criticized by some as a photo-op.
The former secretary of state also took aim at Trump’s use of the word “thugs” to describe the protesters who have taken to the streets across the country following George Floyd’s death.
“They were totally peaceful protesters and what he was trying to do, as he often does, is to mischaracterize them and their behavior and their goals,” she said.
According to Clinton, Trump has attempted to cast the peaceful protesters in the same light as the “tiny, tiny minority” who have used the civil unrest in the country to loot and vandalize.
“There should be no tolerance for violent protest and certainly that was not at the core of the literally millions of people who have come out to protest peacefully over the last several weeks.”
Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to Trump, has been vocally critical of the president since he took office. Along with the former presidential candidate, many others have expressed opposition to Trump’s use of religion.
In a piece for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier pointed to Trump’s Lafayette Square appearance and noted that the president did not explicitly claim the Bible was his.
“It’s a Bible,” Trump said to a reporter who asked if the Bible belonged to him.
Frazier noted that the Bible was brought to the event in Ivanka Trump’s designer handbag and suggested that the moment was not seen by Trump and his family as an “important moment in history,” but rather a means to make a claim about America and Christianity.
Religious voters are a key part of Trump’s base of support. As The Inquisitr reported, Trump’s push to reopen churches amid the coronavirus pandemic was allegedly linked to polls suggesting his support from religious groups was dwindling.
In particular, data suggested the president was losing support from white Catholics and white evangelicals. These groups are allegedly a key part of Trump’s re-election campaign, as they helped bring him a victory over Clinton in 2016.