Franklin Graham: "I believe he's President of the United States for a reason. I believe God put him there. He offended everybody ... he seemed to do everything wrong as a candidate and he won. I don't understand it other than God put him there" https://t.co/v0RZmiDFcd— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) January 24, 2018
Evangelical leader Franklin Graham in an interview called President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE a "changed person" after reports of an alleged affair with an adult film star.
Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said during the interview on CNN he's "more interested in who a person is today" than who they were in the past.
"And I believe that he's a changed person and I've never seen anybody get attacked like he gets attacked," Graham said, saying Trump is attacked by the media every day.
His comments came after a report that Trump's personal lawyer 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 earlier this month that Michael Cohen — an attorney for the Trump Organization at the time and now Trump's personal lawyer — arranged for Stephanie Clifford, known by her stage name of Stormy Daniels, to receive $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement one month before the 2016 presidential election.
"These alleged affairs, they're alleged with Trump, didn't happen while he was in office," Graham said during the interview.
Graham also said he thinks Trump has done a lot during his first year and called for people to look at the strong economy.
"We're all getting helped by Donald Trump's business expertise coming into Washington," he said.
When pressed on if he thinks that the president should be a moral authority for the U.S., Graham said, "I hope and pray that he will be a better moral authority in these next three years."
Graham has also defended the president in the past. Earlier this month, he defended Trump after reports that Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries." Graham said in a statement earlier this month that Trump was being "beaten up for saying something that he says he didn't say."