comScore

‘They’re All Hustlers’: Trump Secretly Bashes Evangelical Leaders, Supporters of Faith, Per New Report

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has privately shared disdain for both religious leaders and the evangelicals who support him, according to a new report.

The Atlantic released an article on numerous people tied to Trump who’ve observed the president in the past as he mocked conservative religious leaders and various faith groups. The piece characterizes Trump as someone who looks at right-wing evangelicals as a special interest group to be cozied up to, even as he privately sneers at rituals and displays a lack of piousness to religious doctrine.

From the article:

To those who have known and worked with Trump closely, the notion that he might have a secret spiritual side is laughable. “I always assumed he was an atheist,” Barbara Res, a former executive at the Trump Organization, told me. “He’s not a religious guy,” A. J. Delgado, who worked on his 2016 campaign, told me. “Whenever I see a picture of him standing in a group of pastors, all of their hands on him, I see a thought bubble [with] the words ‘What suckers,’” Mary Trump, the president’s niece, told me.

McCay Coppins used much of his piece to give reference to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer who used part of his memoir, Disloyal, to go into great detail on the president’s mockery of those of faith. One anecdote from Cohen’s book describes how Trump hosted prominent evangelical leaders years ago at Trump Tower, and since they laid their hands on Trump in group prayer, Trump allegedly said after the meeting “can you believe that bullshit? Can you believe people believe that bullshit?’”

The article goes on to assert that even though Trump publicly appeals to religious leaders while scoffing behind their backs, he connects with those who use their religious leaders to advance their personal and financial ends. Cohen spoke to Coppins and recalled a time when Trump called him into his office and gushed about a “scam” from Creflo Dollar, a megachurch preacher Trump knew who asked his congregation for $60 million in order to buy a private plane.

“They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.

Another former campaign adviser spoke to Coppins anonymously, and he corroborated the hypothesis on Trump’s tendencies by saying the president took interest in the media influence held by televangelists.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under: