The head of a Florida megachurch says Trump spent hours seeking advice from God on a presidential run
Paula White, Donald Trumps spiritual adviser and personal pastor, re-enacted a moment at a private White House dinner last month which would eventually make headlines for showing the presidents hardline stance on abortion.
The evening before the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump approached the US senator Chris Coons, a Democrat and Presbyterian, about an expansion of abortion rights in New York state. The law is reviled by evangelicals like White.
Trump thrust his face over the Democrats shoulder, so they were nearly cheek to cheek, and said in his ear: So, you can do that to a baby And thats not a human, is it? And you have no problem? He followed up: Isnt it called murder?
Trump was just right in his face, and I was like, Whoa, said White, leaning over the ornate dining room table in her nearly 6,000-sq-ft home in Florida.
White runs a megachurch in Florida, and is a link between the evangelical community, which she has navigated for decades, and a president whom she describes as not speaking Christian-ese. Although she has evaded the constant scrutiny of some in Trumps circle, she is nevertheless a controversial figure, who said she has regular calls with the president and ministers to his family.
That White chose to tell this story underscores why she might be useful for Trump, whose past as a Manhattan playboy with multiple marriages might not have obvious appeal to the Christian right.
Weeks after the dinner, anonymous sources told Politico about the confrontation. At least one Republican senator present denied the account, but it had already scored important points with Trumps evangelical base suggesting that his anti-abortion rhetoric is evidence of a private conviction, not political expediency.
What was ironic in the thing is its not like Trump went out and targeted evangelicals, she said. Its not like he went out and [said]: Deliver evangelicals, I want their vote. Not at all.
White frequently testifies to the presidents sincere and deep faith and said her role counseling Trump was an assignment from God. She delivered the invocation at the presidents inauguration and has since been a fixture at high-profile events, such as the state-like dinner Trump held for 100 evangelicals last summer. While there, she also joined a small, influential group discussion before the meal. She helps plan White House events for the faith community, and provides input on policy decisions.
The Guardian contacted the White House about this story, but the administration did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
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