Progressive faith leaders on Thursday knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE for criticizing the National Prayer Breakfast’s keynote speaker’s advice to “love your enemies.”

Arthur Brooks, a Harvard Kennedy School professor, told those attending the annual event in Washington to “love your enemies” and cast aside hatred, to which the president responded, “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.”

Brooks had asked the crowd during his speech, "How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?” Most people in the audience raised their hands, but Trump did not.

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said during his speech, a day after the Senate acquitted him of two impeachment charges. “Nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you' when they know that that's not so. So many people have been hurt and we can't let that go on."

Progressive faith leaders condemned Trump for disagreeing with one of Jesus’s most famous teachings.

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice group Network, said Trump's comments showed a “level of candor” when he insinuated he would not love all his enemies.

“This, to me, was a transactional moment to get the white evangelical vote,” she said. “So the prayer breakfast became yet another transactional moment, which saddened me.”

Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, a fellow for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, said Trump “seemed to be very bothered by Jesus’s commandment to ‘love our enemies.’”

“He is the total antithesis of what it means to follow Jesus,” Graves-Fitzsimmons added.


He said Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWomen suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Crowds return during Memorial Day weekend Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (D-Calif.) has demonstrated the teaching by consistently saying she prays for Trump.

Graves-Fitzsimmons said on a press call that he “found it remarkable that the president stood up and dismissed” Pelosi.

During his comments at the breakfast, Trump swiped at Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation Pelosi, Democrats press case for mail-in voting amid Trump attacks MORE (R-Utah), who broke with his party and voted to convict the president on abuse of power, and Pelosi for invoking their religion during his impeachment proceedings.

-Updated 3 p.m.