Evangelical leader defends ‘mulligan’ remark about Trump, Stormy Daniels

Evangelical leader Tony Perkins on Tuesday night stood by his remark that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE deserves a second chance if he had an extramarital affair.

"Evangelicals understand what a second chance means and that's what that comment was made in the context of," Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"He embraced himself in the conservative party platform ever. And yes, evangelical conservatives gave him a mulligan," Perkins said. "They let him have a do over." 

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Perkins was doubling down on remarks he initially made on Politico's "Off Message" podcast, where he also said that Trump should get a mulligan.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult film star in an attempt to silence her from discussing a sexual encounter with Trump.

Stephanie Clifford, who performs as Stormy Daniels, received the payment as part of a nondisclosure agreement in October 2016. In an interview with In Touch magazine, she said she and Trump had sex in 2006. Trump's representatives have denied the two had sex. 

Perkins caveated that if Trump still behaved improperly while in office, his support would be called into question.

"I can assure you that my support and support of evangelicals would be dissipating very rapidly," Perkins said. 

"But we are talking about something that occurred 10 years ago, among a number of things that occurred with this president prior to being president," he said.

Perkins said he did not initially support Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, but his decision to pick an anti-abortion rights, conservative running mate as well as his embrace of the conservative party platform won him and other evangelicals over.