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Jeffress denies predicting 'actual civil war' over Trump impeachment

Pastor Robert Jeffress on Monday denied predicting a civil war would erupt if President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE was successfully removed from office after being impeached.

"I was not predicting and certainly not advocating an actual civil war," Jeffress said on Todd Starnes's Fox News Radio program, "but what I am saying is this: if President Trump, for whom 63 million Americans voted, if he becomes the first president in history to be actually removed from office I believe that's going to create a long lasting wound in this country, just like the Civil War did."

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Jeffress's original comment on impeachment drew national attention after Trump tweeted it out Sunday.

"If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal," Trump tweeted, quoting Jeffress's appearance on Fox News.

Trump's amplification of the quote to his 65 million followers was met with significant backlash, including from within his own party.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (R-Ill.) tweeted that he had "never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezFacebook has no current plan to end the Trump suspension New York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration Ocasio-Cortez: Facebook, Zuckerberg 'bear partial responsibility' for insurrection MORE (D-N.Y.) said that she "truly can think of few things less patriotic, more cowardly, and plainly pathetic + reckless than amplifying calls for civil war within your own country."

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Memo: Trump leaves changed nation in his wake New York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration GOP Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as 'false flag' event on Facebook MORE (D-Calif.) formally launched a Trump impeachment inquiry last week after details emerged of a phone call where Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 presidential candidate, and Biden's son Hunter.