Televangelist who advised Trump turns on him — calls him a 'little elementary school child'
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that a North Texas televangelist who served as a spiritual adviser to former President Donald Trump has had enough of him — and is condemning him in fiery speeches.

"'If Mr. Trump can’t stop his little petty issues, how does he expect people to stop major issues?' James Robison, the president of the Christian group Life Outreach International, said Wednesday night at a meeting of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL), a conservative political group that focuses on social issues," reported Caroline Kitchener, Amy B Wang, and Michelle Boorstein. "Members of the NACL pledge to advocate for antiabortion policies and to 'uphold the sanctity of marriage as a sacred union exclusively between one man and one woman,' among other commitments. Robison was receiving an award from the group Wednesday night when he made his remarks."

"Several minutes into his speech, Robison brought up Trump, recalling how the then-presidential nominee had courted his endorsement," said the report. "In Robison’s retelling, Republican Ben Carson had supposedly told Trump that Robison would only endorse him if they spoke for an hour. Trump protested, saying he didn’t speak to anyone for more than 15 minutes. The two ended up speaking for an hour and a half, Robison said. After that, 'the man started calling me on his cellphone, and then he started asking me to call him,' Robison said" — and yet, he added, Trump often ignored his spiritual advice.

“Everything you wanted him to hear — every single thing you ever prayed for him to hear — came through these lips right straight into his face,” said Robison. “And with the same force you’ve heard me talking to you, I spoke it to him. ‘Sir, you act like a little elementary school child and you shoot yourself in the foot every morning you get up and open your mouth! The more you keep your mouth closed, the more successful you’re gonna be!’”

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Right-wing evangelicals were a core part of Trump's electoral coalition, sticking by him for years and defending him in the face of criticism of his morals. Polls suggest that evangelical voters have completely reversed their position on whether or not a politician immoral in their private life can be a good leader in the years since Trump took office.

However, in recent years the political involvement of evangelical communities has put strain on the faith, with many believers — particularly people of color — shifting away from alignment with the right.

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