Pastor Jeffress says it’s ‘hypocritical’ for Trump’s enemies to say they pray for him

Pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress on Friday said “it’s hypocritical” for people like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to say she prays for President Trump.

“When you have been under nonstop attack for the last three years from people who want to destroy you and your family, it’s a little hard to hear them say, ‘I want to pray for you,’” Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Dallas and a member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, told ABC News

Trump’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast this week have been criticized by detractors who say he contradicted the Bible. 

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that’s not so,” Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday. 

He also responded to the prior speaker at the prayer breakfast, Arthur Brooks, who urged Washington leaders to follow the biblical command to “love your enemies.” The president replied, “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.”

Jeffress told ABC that Trump “was completely right in what he said.” 

“This president, he absolutely hates phoniness; he can smell it a mile away,” Jeffress said in a separate appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” on Friday. “The president thinks there’s something inherently phony about saying you’re praying for him when you’re working to destroy him.”

He added that “the Bible supports his skepticism,” citing James 3:10, which reads, according to the New International Version, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

Pelosi, who also attended the breakfast, defended her prayers for Trump.

“He really needs our prayers,” she said after the event. “So he can say whatever he wants, but I do pray for him and I do so sincerely and without anguish, gently, that’s the way I pray for everybody else.”

Jeffress also supported Trump’s comments about not loving his enemies, saying he told Trump this week: “Mr. President, to love your enemies means to want God’s best for them, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be unified with them. Truth divides people.”

Jeffress also criticized Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) vote for Trump’s impeachment. Romney, before becoming the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on Wednesday, said “God demanded it of me.”

Jeffress told ABC that Romney’s vote “seems more based on self-promotion than religious beliefs.”

Romney, a devout Mormon, has previously called Jeffress a “religious bigot” due to his comments about Jews and Mormonism.

Jeffress on Fox predicted that evangelicals would continue to be strong supporters of Trump in November, saying “impeachment has not diminished” but has “mobilized his evangelical base.”

“I’ve told the president lately that I believe that evangelical turnout in 2020 will be greater than even the historic turnout in 2016, which was 81 percent. I believe it’s going to be a landslide,” he told Fox.

Tags Donald Trump Impeachment Mitt Romney Nancy Pelosi National Prayer Breakfast Robert Jeffress

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