Pence: 'There's prayer on a regular basis in this White House'

Pence: 'There's prayer on a regular basis in this White House'
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence says in a new interview that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE often encourages members of his Cabinet to open meetings with prayer.

"There's prayer going on on a regular basis in this White House," Pence said during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Thursday.

"And it's one of the most meaningful things to me. Whether it's public meetings or not, I've lost count of the number of times that the president has nudged me, or nudged another member of the Cabinet and said, 'Let's start this meeting with prayer,'" Pence said.

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Pence's comments came after Trump announced during a National Day of Prayer event at the White House that he was signing an order to create a new faith-based initiative at the White House, expanding on a religious freedom executive order signed last year.

"This is really about making sure that as we develop policies for the country, that we are always making room for those inalienable rights, the free exercise of religion that Americans cherish," Pence told CBN News.

Pence, a devout evangelical Christian, said the newly established faith-based office will inform the administration of any "failures of the executive branch to comply with religious liberty protections under law."

Trump appeared at the White House event — which was attended by leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu faiths — hours after admitting he reimbursed his longtime personal lawyer for a $130,000 "hush money" payment to a porn actress a month before the 2016 election.

The actress, Stormy Daniels, has said she received the money from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as part of an agreement to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she claims to have had with Trump in 2006, a year after he married first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE.

The Rose Garden ceremony Thursday came amid new questions regarding the payment after Rudy Giuliani, a newly hired member of Trump's personal legal team, revealed that Trump repaid Cohen.