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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 TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal 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 KinzingerTrump critics push new direction for GOP Democrats fundraise off of vote to remove Cheney from GOP leadership Kinzinger on Cheney removal: History will call this 'low point of the Republican Party' 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez hits Biden for taking 'the side of occupation' in Mideast violence Yang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct McConnell hits Democratic critics of Israel 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 PelosiOn The Money: Inflation jumps at fastest pace since 2008 | Biden 'encouraged' on bipartisan infrastructure deal Overnight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure 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.