Jeffress denies predicting 'actual civil war' over Trump impeachment

Pastor Robert Jeffress on Monday denied predicting a civil war would erupt if President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters 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 KinzingerThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy Trump again tweets about Scarborough conspiracy, despite heavy criticism 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-CortezNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Overnight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Engel primary challenger hits million in donations 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 PelosiNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Shocking job numbers raise hopes for quicker recovery Engel primary challenger hits million in donations 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.