Administration

Jeffress says he ‘absolutely’ does not regret supporting Trump after Capitol riot

Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s most vocal evangelical backers, said he “absolutely” did not regret backing Trump despite the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

“Great talks today with President @realDonaldTrumpand @VP@Mike_Pence,” Jeffress tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “When reporter asked if I regretted my support I said ‘Absolutely not! Most pro-life and religious liberty President and VP in history!’”

Jeffress also emphasized that he “never once claimed the election was ‘stolen,'” as Trump had repeatedly claimed in the months after the November election.

The pastor pushed back following an exchange with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), one of several House Republicans who plan to vote for the president’s impeachment Wednesday. Kinzinger deleted a tweet in which he accused Jeffress of backing the president’s unsubstantiated conspiracy theories of a stolen election.

“I’ve never once claimed the election was ‘stolen.’ If anyone needs to ‘admit their mistake,’ it’s YOU. Will be awaiting your apology,” Jeffress tweeted.

“You are absolutely correct. You did act honorably, and while my point remains about the Church and the need for pastors to lead, you did not press those stolen election conspiracies. I am sorry for including you in that,” Kinzinger replied.

Jeffress was one of the first high-profile Trump supporters to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Days after major networks projected Biden as the winner, Jeffress wrote in a Fox News column that it was “a bitter pill to swallow” but that “the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported.”

White evangelical Christians are among the most reliably pro-Trump demographics, but cracks have appeared in the coalition amid criticisms that he incited last week’s mob. Pastor Franklin Graham earlier this week told USA Today that he believes Trump “regrets” his rhetoric leading up to the riot but said “I don’t think it was the president’s finest moment.” On Tuesday, in his first public remarks since the riot, Trump called his rhetoric “totally appropriate.” 

Tags Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump Joe Biden

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