Franklin Graham shrugged off President Donald Trump’s moral failings by arguing his various aberrations took place before he was in the Oval Office.
The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association appeared Tuesday night on “CNN Tonight,” where he told host Don Lemon that Trump’s alleged extramarital affair with a porn actress was different than behavior for which he criticized Bill Clinton.
“These alleged affairs, they’re alleged with Trump, didn’t happen while he was in office,” Graham said.
“This happened 11, 12, 13, 14 years ago,” he continued, “and so, I think there is a big difference and not that we give anybody a pass, but we have to look at the timeline and that was before he was in office.”
Lemon questioned Graham’s moral consistency, saying that it sounded like he believed Trump was good — despite evidence to the contrary — because he delivered on political promises.
“It sounds like you’re saying he is good because he is good for what you think is right, that the ends justify the means,” Lemon said. “If that’s the case, then poor people should be robbing banks.”
Graham insisted Trump had matured since the alleged 2006 affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels, who gave a detailed account of the relationship in a magazine interview, but Lemon asked whether the president’s tweets and other public remarks disproved that claim.
“There is a lot of presidents that have had rough language and a lot of these things that have been accused of the president, I am not sure are true,” Graham said. “He says he didn’t do it, and the others that said he didn’t do it.”
Graham then argued that God had put Trump in office for a reason, and the religious leader then praised his skills as a businessman.
“I think people have confidence in his business ability, and I think that’s why we see the stock market where it is,” Graham said. “Of course, the tax issue is huge.”
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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called for a boycott of Maher's show this week.
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