Reverend Franklin Graham appeared on MSNBC Live with Alex Witt over the weekend to discuss the government shutdown, DACA, and the accusations that President Trump paid $130,000 to a former porn star to cover up an affair.
Whitt questioned Graham about President Trump’s alleged vulgar comments about Haiti and African nations. He responded, “I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. That’s certainly not the language I would want to use, but I don’t think any of those Senators, if he did use that language, have heard that language for the first time. I’m sure that’s a word they have used before, so I think there’s a little bit of hypocrisy here, but he says he didn’t say it, so I have to go along with the President that he didn’t say it.”
Witt moved on to the accusations that the President had an affair with a former porn star in 2006. She also brought up the Access Hollywood tape and asked if these things challenged his faith in the President. Graham said, “I can promise you that he is not President Perfect and I don’t think that I have seen President Perfect yet, but if President Perfect comes along I’m sure we will all get behind him and vote for him. He’s not a perfect person, no, and neither am I. And we certainly don’t hold him up as the pastor of this country and he’s not, but I certainly appreciate the fact that the President does have a concern for Christian values. He does have a concern to protect Christians, here at home and around the world, and I appreciate the fact that he protects religious freedom.”
Witt then asked Graham if he would be so quick to forgive and pray for the President if he were a Democrat. Graham alleged that the Billy Graham Association and Samaritan’s Purse received audit letters from the IRS on the same day during the Obama Administration because they did not support his re-election campaign in 2012. He said the Administration “targeted” him, yet he says he prayed for Obama because we are commanded to and because “If the President does well, we all do well.”
Witt pressed the point further, asking Graham about those who say evangelicals are hypocritical by supporting President Trump in spite of the allegations against him when they were harshly critical of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Graham took issue with the question’s premise, saying, “Well, first of all, President Trump has not admitted to having an affair with this person, and it’s just a news story, so I don’t know if it is accurate.”
Graham went on to explain that he trusts the President because he has always been honest with him. He said he does not know if the President had the affair or not, but he wants to give him the benefit of the doubt. He added that it was not hypocritical to support a “flawed man” because he is one as well. He concluded, “God has forgiven me. I have asked for his forgiveness and I think the President has to.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images
Publication date: January 22, 2018