Conservative and Christian broadcasters are pushing a dubious claim that First Lady Melania Trump refused to move into the White House until demonic spirits were removed from the building.
The claim appears to originate with pastor and radio host Paul Begley.
“When the president allowed 40 pastors to come in to the White House and anoint him with oil and lay their hands and pray on him—seven times he’s done this—that is unheard of,” Begley said on his “Coming Apocalypse” program, according to Right Wing Watch.
"At least he is humble enough and recognizing that he needs God enough that he keeps bringing them in for the prayer. And I’ve got to say this, it might have started with the first lady."
"The first lady, in that five hours when the Obamas and the Trumps went down to the Capitol and Trump was being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States," Begley claimed, "Melania Trump said to her husband, ‘I’m not going to go into that White House unless it has been completely exorcised.'"
Another conservative Christian broadcaster, Bryan Fischer, then picked up on the story, insisting it "fits with what we know about Melania Trump."
He claimed that there were "demonic and idolatrous objects" in the White House, which he blamed on the Clintons.
"They actually honeymooned in Haiti. They witnessed a ritual performed by a Voodoo priest. And there were Haitian symbols, Haitian icons in the White House that the Clintons brought in there," Fischer said.
The conspiracy website InfoWars also reported on the story. "If I had to live in the same house the Obamas just lived in for 8 years, I think I would want it fumigated too, exorcised, maybe even burnt to the ground," InfoWars host Owen Shroyer.
He said the story shows that "Donald Trump and Melania Trump understand that this is more than a political battle, more than an earthly battle, but a spiritual battle."
A spokeswoman for the first lady denied to the Associated Press that she had a ceremony to rid the White House of demons.