One of the most puzzling phenomena of the Trump era is his die-hard support from evangelical Christians — especially puzzling since Trump’s reputation as a “thrice-married, swindling, profane, materialistic, self-styled playboy” starkly contradicts the “family values” narrative famously disseminated by the religious right. In a column for Rolling Stone published this Monday, Alex Morris tries to shed some light on this contradiction.
According to Morris, it all started with a September meeting in 2016, six weeks before the election, where an audio recording of the meeting revealed how evangelical leaders handed Trump a mandate that he promised to fulfill.
“He would end the contraception mandate of Obamacare; … he would select only anti-choice judges; … he would do away with the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt entities from endorsing politicians; … he would support prayer in school; … he would oppose any bill that pulled funding from Christian schools that were charged with discrimination; … he would keep transgender people from using the ‘wrong’ bathrooms and locker rooms; … and he would protect Israel, following the biblical pronouncement that nations that do so would be blessed (‘[Obama’s] been the worst thing that’s happened to Israel …”
Despite Trump’s newfound allies in the evangelical movement, he never bothered to put out the image that he was a true believer. But that didn’t matter — it was Trump’s perceived devotion to their cause that had evangelicals sold. As Morris points out, close to 81 percent of white evangelicals cast their ballots for him on election day. Fast forward to 2019, 82 percent of evangelicals would vote for Trump if the election were held today. “Two-thirds believe that he has not damaged the decency of the presidency, 55 percent agree with Sarah Huckabee Sanders that ‘God wanted him to be president,’ and 99 percent oppose impeachment,” Morris writes.
While solidarity with their movement is one explanation for Trump’s evangelical support, what’s not easily explainable is the fact that many evangelicals are quick to claim Trump is a believing Christian. One of the reasons could be how Trump willingly plays into the “us-versus-them” mentality that “mobilized the Christian base fiscally and politically.”
“…any leader who tackled the wedge issues with Trumpian ferocity was on the side of righteousness.”
Read Morris’s full column over at Rolling Stone.
Trump announces Rudy Giuliani ‘wants to go before Congress’ and testify about his Ukraine dealings
President Donald Trump on Saturday said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wanted to testify before Congress.
Speaking to reporters as he departed for a Republican fundraiser in Florida, Trump praised the former New York City mayor.
"Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years," Trump said of his lawyer, who is reportedly under federal investigation for breaking the law.
"And, he did get back from Europe just recently and I know -- he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say, and also to the attorney general and the Department of Justice," Trump said.
GOP governors are refusing to do Trump’s bidding and ducking him on the campaign trail: report
On Saturday, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times profiled how President Donald Trump is having less luck whipping Republican governors into line than Republican senators, including governors who arguably owe their election to his support.
"In Florida, Mr. Trump’s aides helped save the flailing candidacy of Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary, and then the general election," wrote Haberman. "Also last year, in Georgia, Mr. Trump helped pull Brian Kemp over the finish line in both the primary and the general election. In both cases, Mr. Trump’s advisers implored him to stay out of the primaries, and he agreed to — only to surprise his aides by jumping in to support Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Kemp."
Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president — Trump may change all that
President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.
It’s not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.