Evangelical leaders lay hands on Trump and pray for him as impeachment inquiry gathers steam
A group of 25 evangelical pastors and leaders met President Trump in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Tuesday
President Donald Trump's closest evangelical supporters met at the White House on Tuesday in the Roosevelt Room as House Democrats prepared for the public phase of their impeachment inquiry. The group of 25 evangelical pastors and leaders were present on Tuesday morning for an hour-long, wide-ranging meeting.
Trump was briefing the evangelical leaders in his "continuing, remarkable accomplishments, especially in areas that are important to evangelicals," according to Texas pastor and longtime Trump supporter Robert Jeffress.
"I've never seen President Trump more upbeat, positive and focused than I did in Tuesday's meeting," he told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Wednesday.
Speaking with Fox News, Pastor Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, said, "We discussed our support. We assured him that evangelicals across America support him. We are unwavering in our support for the president."
The pastors say that Trump has been coping well with the impeachment push by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "It's abundantly clear, he's totally unfazed by this," Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian leaders, told Fox. "Everybody felt this way. This isn't actually about Donald Trump... It's about the agenda that he's putting forward, the success he's had in advancing the agenda."
Promising unwavering support to Trump and his cause, Moore explained how the evangelical leaders see the impeachment move. "Evangelical leaders see this not as impeaching Donald Trump, but they're trying to impeach me and my values. Donald Trump is pretty good at fighting alone—but he isn't going to have to on this one." Graham added that they take it "very personally because they're going after our values". He also added that the inquiry is a "sham of an investigation".
Trump didn't appear preoccupied with the impeachment inquiry and added that their time was focused on various accomplishments such as the nomination of federal judges, criminal justice reform, the defense of religious freedom, abortion reduction, the child tax credit, opportunity zones, the battle against opioid addiction and human trafficking, the Islamic State and the targeted operation leading to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
As the meeting came to a close, the attendees asked Trump if they could pray with him. "We prayed for the president, with thanksgiving, as always, that he would know God's wisdom and strength as the president of the United States," Graham said. This isn't the first time they have prayed together, he said, adding that it is a gesture that the president "always welcomes", and that he is ever "appreciative of the people who pray for him across the country."
The House of Representatives endorsed an impeachment inquiry on Thursday into whether the President abused his power for political gain—looking into allegations that Trump sought political favors from Ukraine to help his 2020 reelection campaign.
According to a report from the Public Religion Research Institute published in October, 88 percent of white evangelicals supporters don't think he should be impeached and removed from office.