Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE slammed fellow 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonAid restrictions sideline Puerto Rican civil society Trump administration ending delay on over B in Puerto Rico disaster aid HUD to roll back Obama-era housing desegregation rule MORE for questioning his faith, calling the retired pediatric neurosurgeon an "OK doctor" who was "heavy into the world of abortion."

ADVERTISEMENT

“Who is he to question my faith?” Trump asked host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.” “He knows nothing about me.

“I am a man of faith,” he continued. “I hardly know Ben Carson. I’m a believer, big league in God. I will hit back on that.

“I don’t think he’s a great religious figure,” Trump added. “If you look at his faith, you’re not going to make it very far.” 

Trump argued on Thursday that Carson’s medical background undermines his claims about his spiritual convictions.

“He was an OK doctor,” he said. “He was heavy into the world of abortion.”

Carson questioned the sincerity of Trump’s spirituality during an interview on Wednesday evening.

“I realize where my successes come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God,” he told listeners during a campaign rally in Anaheim, Calif.

“I think that’s the big differentiator,” Carson added, comparing himself to Trump.

“That’s a very big part of who I am — humility and fear of the Lord. I don’t get that impression from him.”

“When Ben Carson makes a phony statement, I am going to attack him.” Trump said on Thursday. “Ben Carson is not going to be the next president, that I can tell you.

“He makes Bush look like the energizer bunny,” he added, taunting Carson’s soft-spoken persona and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), another GOP presidential rival, at the same time.

Trump’s war of words with Carson comes as he leads the retired doctor and other Republicans in the race for their party’s presidential nomination next year. 

Carson currently ranks second place after Trump in the hunt for next year’s Republican presidential nomination across multiple national polls.

The real estate tycoon earns 29.8 percent to Carson’s 16 percent voter support, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of samplings.

--This report was updated at 8:22 a.m.