Evangelist Franklin Graham, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, is urging the commander-in-chief’s detractors to "give it a rest" following allegations that the president used foreign aid money to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
The most recent accusations against the president were leveled by a whistleblower who maintains that Trump repeatedly asked that Biden’s son, Hunter, be investigated during a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Fox News, however, is reporting that a source close to the investigation says the whistleblower does not have "firsthand knowledge" of Trump's conversation with Zelensky.
“I wish President @realDonaldTrump’s enemies would give it a rest. For 2 years all the American people heard was collusion. Not true. Then accusations seemed to come out of the woodwork by various women. Then all we heard was impeachment. Now it’s a whistleblower claim,” Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tweeted on Monday, adding, “President @realDonaldTrump was elected to do a job. Let’s pray for him, that God will give him wisdom to make the right decisions for the American people and to do his job well.”
I wish President @realDonaldTrump’s enemies would give it a rest. For 2 years all the American people heard was collusion. Not true. Then accusations seemed to come out of the woodwork by various women. Then all we heard was impeachment. Now it’s a whistleblower claim.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) September 23, 2019
According to Western Journal, Trump acknowledged Monday during his trip to the United Nations that he discussed the Bidens while on a July 25 call with Zelensky but insists he did not try to link aid-money to Ukrainian investigations. He added that the U.S. is supporting Ukraine and "we want to make sure that country is honest."
"If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country you think is corrupt?" Trump asked.
A group of seven centrist Democrats said in an op-ed that ifTrump did pressure Zelensky to investigate the Bidens for political benefit, it's an impeachable offense.
“These allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent," the lawmakers wrote. “These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect. We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.”
While the latest revelations have escalated talks of impeachment, observers are pointing back to Biden’s time as vice president when he admitted to threatening then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko with the loss of $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if he didn’t fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. The prosecutor, who was fired, was overseeing a corruption probe of a company on which Biden’s son served as a board member.
Trump maintains there was nothing inappropriate about his call with Zelensky.
"We had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine," he said. "Everybody knows it. It's just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again. They failed with Russia, they failed with recession, they failed with everything.”
Despite persistent allegations against Trump, Graham has remained a long-time supporter and in 2017 appeared at one of the president’s rallies. Just this summer he joined more than 250 other pastors in calling for a June 2 “special day of prayer” for the president.
Also this summer, in an interview with the Western Journal, Graham praised Trump for keeping his campaign promises, particularly appointing conservative justices, supporting the pro-life movement and championing religious liberty.
“All this he has done without a fully supportive Republican majority,” Graham said at the time. “He, of course, has been able to do it with the relentless attacks of the Democrats.”
Looking ahead, the evangelist speculated that Trump “may go down in history as one of the best presidents we’ve had.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Pool
Lori Arnold is a national award-winning journalist whose experience includes 16 years at a daily community newspaper in San Diego and 16 years as writer-editor for the Christian Examiner. She owns StoryLori Media and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association.