Evangelical leader Tony Perkins in a new interview said President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE got a "mulligan" on his past behavior, adding that the president is providing the leadership the country needs.
“We kind of gave him — ‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’” Perkins, the Family Research Council president, told Politico's "Off Message" podcast.
Perkins said evangelical Christians were "tired of being kicked around by Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBarack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle Voting rights is a constitutional right: Failure is not an option Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary MORE and his leftists."
"And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully," he said.
He added that Christianity is not "all about being a welcome mat which people can just stomp their feet on."
The comments come after a report earlier this month that a lawyer for Trump arranged a six-figure payment to a former adult film star to keep her from discussing a sexual encounter with Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Cohen, an attorney for the Trump Organization at the time and now Trump's personal lawyer, arranged for Stephanie Clifford, known in the porn industry as Stormy Daniels, to receive $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement one month before the 2016 presidential election.
Perkins — who was not initially a supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign — said during the Politico interview he has seen the president grow.
He also praised the administration's stance on abortion rights and its "religious freedom" executive orders.
“I don’t think this president is using evangelicals … I think he genuinely enjoys the relationship that had developed. He has found, I think — and he’s a very transactional president," he said.
"Trust is important to him. Loyalty is important to him, and I think in this transaction, he realizes, ‘hey, these are people I can count on, because they don’t blow with the political winds.'"
He continued: "It’s a developing relationship, but I’ll have to say this: from a policy standpoint, he has delivered more than any other president in my lifetime.”
He added that he thinks Trump is "providing the leadership we need at this time, in our country and in our culture."