GOP senator: Trump isn't a role model for young people

Oklahoma Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump defense rests, GOP struggles to bar witnesses GOP confident of win on witnesses MORE (R) criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE in a recent interview over the rhetoric and language he uses in his tweets, saying it was “definitely not the way that I'm raising my kids.” 

During an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that aired on Sunday, the Republican senator said, “I don't think that President Trump as a person is a role model for a lot of different youth.”

“That's just me personally,” he continued, adding: “I don't like the way that he tweets, some of the things that he says, his word choices at times are not my word choices. He comes across with more New York City swagger than I do from the Midwest and definitely not the way that I'm raising my kids.”

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“Saying that, there are policy areas that we agree on and when we agree on those things we work on those things together,” Lankford said. “But it's also been a grand challenge to be able to say, for a person of faith, for a person who believes that there is a right way to go on things I wish that he did. And he was more of a role model in those areas.”

“Now, saying all that, on the area of life where I'm very passionate about, on the issues of abortion, for instance, he's been tenaciously pro-life,” he went on. “He's focused on putting people around him that are very focused on religious liberty, not honoring a particular faith, but honoring any person of any faith to go be able to live and practice that faith and to have respect for that. That's helpful for any person of faith.” 

However, he also added that for “people of faith, it's a bit of a conundrum at times that I look at some of the moral decisions that he's made and go, 'I disagree with that.'”

He also discussed being asked for comment by members of the press for his take on some controversial tweets the president sends out. 

“It is the most interesting question that I get almost every day when I walk through anywhere in the Capitol, someone from the press will say, 'The president just tweeted out this. What do you think about it?' And put a microphone in my face and say, 'Answer for any kind of moral statement' or 'He just said a curse word in a public setting. I know you're a person of faith. Go answer for this,'” Lankford, who is a member of a weekly prayer group hosted by some in the Senate, said.

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“Again, the president has a spokesperson, and I'm not the president's spokesperson. I have a responsibility for myself and my team and for what my family's going to do. And then I'm also going to try to set what I believe is the right role model,” he continued.

Speaking further on the matter, Lankford said that “one of the interesting things about Washington, D.C., is I don't get to pick the people that I work with.”

“The American people pick the people that I work with,” he added. “And then my responsibility is to be able to get things done in that environment that I think drive home a set of values and a set of policies that help the nation long term.”

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Graham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Del.), another member of the prayer group, also appeared during the segment, in which he discusses differences in beliefs he and Trump have on issues like abortion rights.

During his appearance, Coons said that “the president's been a real challenge for me to find ways to work with.”

“I'll tell you that praying for the president is probably one of the greatest spiritual challenges I've had to work through in my life,” he continued, adding: “We've had a conversation about his treatment of refugees and his blocking folks from coming to our country and the so-called Muslim ban that he enacted right when he was elected. And we've also had a conversation about abortion and reproductive rights. And I think we vigorously, vigorously disagree on both.”