Influential evangelical Christians have turned against Trump after his 2024 announcement, report says
- Evangelical Christians who supported former President Donald Trump appear to be turning on him.
- "He does not have the support of the evangelicals that he did," said Christian commentator Mike Evans.
Prominent evangelical Christian figures who previously supported former President Donald Trump have turned on him following his announcement that he's running for president again in 2024, HuffPost reported, citing several interviews in various media outlets.
"At the present moment, our movement is divided," said Mike Evans, who helped mobilize evangelical support for Trump in 2016, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
"The average evangelical Christian is a faith-based person. Donald Trump does not personify biblical values. So, although they very much admire his policies, they honestly don't admire the person," Evans continued, per The Jerusalem Post. "He does not have the support of the evangelicals that he did."
In an essay sent to The Washington Post, Evans accused Trump of using evangelical support to propel him to the presidency. "Donald Trump can't save America. He can't even save himself. He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us," Evans wrote. "I cannot do that anymore."
Robert Jeffress, a televangelist, endorsed Trump in 2016 and appeared at rallies for him. At the time, he said Christians who didn't vote for Trump to become the Republican nominee were "fools." Jeffress was later named a member of Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board and the White House Faith Initiative.
Speaking to Newsweek, Jeffress said he's holding off on endorsing Trump until it becomes clear who the Republican nominee is in 2024. "The Republican Party is headed toward a civil war that I have no desire or need to be part of," he said.
However, Jeffress added that he would "happily" support Trump if he became the GOP nominee.
But on the day of Trump's announcement, Jeffress tweeted a link to former Vice President Mike Pence's book. He described Pence, who is seen as a rival to Trump in 2024, as a "great friend, a committed Christian, and a true American hero."
—Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) November 15, 2022
Washington Times columnist Everett Piper, who was a university administrator for evangelical Christian universities, wrote an opinion piece following the midterms that argued Trump is "hurting us, not helping us."
In the article, Piper said: "The take-home of this past week is simple: Donald Trump has to go. If he's our nominee in 2024, we will get destroyed."
And James Robison, a televangelist and the president of the Christian relief organization Life Outreach International, spoke against Trump on Wednesday night during a speech at a meeting of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers.
Per The Washington Post, Robison, who served as a spiritual adviser to Trump, accused the former president of having a tendency to act "like a little elementary schoolchild."
Robison said Trump "took every single call I made," The Washington Post reported, but added that the former president didn't always take his advice. On one phone call, he told Trump: "You shoot yourself in the foot every morning you get up and open your mouth! The more you keep your mouth closed, the more successful you're going to be!"
Robison did not make it explicitly clear if he would endorse Trump, per The Washington Post's reporting.
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