Trump Hosts White House Dinner For Evangelical Supporters

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Trump hosted a big dinner party at the White House the other night. Even though guests described it as a state dinner with all the fanfare that goes with that, there were no heads of state in attendance. There were a lot of people who have become very important to the president, though, evangelical Christian leaders. Reverend Robert Jeffress was there. He is pastor of First Baptist Dallas. It's one of the largest Southern Baptist megachurches in the country.

ROBERT JEFFRESS: I suppose if there were a headline to come out of the evening, it would be this - "Evangelicals Remain Enthusiastically United Behind Trump." I didn't sense any diminishing of support there. In fact, it was really a half state dinner and a half campaign rally.

MARTIN: I spoke with Reverend Jeffress in our studio yesterday morning before reports surfaced about the comments President Trump made at that dinner. According to NBC News and The New York Times, Trump floated a harsh warning if Democrats win control of Congress in the midterms, saying, quote, "they will overturn everything we've done, and they'll do it quickly and violently." I spoke with Reverend Jeffress about why he supports President Trump and, specifically, how Christian leaders square the president's admission that he paid hush money to a porn star with their religious convictions.

JEFFRESS: Well, look. I think evangelicals understand there's a difference between supporting a president's policies and supporting individual behavior.

MARTIN: Although this is diametrically opposed to how evangelical Christians approached Bill Clinton. In that time, evangelicals said you cannot compartmentalize someone's morality.

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