Donald Trump Goes Truther on Hillary Clinton’s Religion
While his presidential campaign heads into dire financial straits, Donald Trump has found a new focus: questioning Hillary Clinton’s religion.
Speaking Tuesday morning to a private gathering of evangelical leaders in New York City, the presumptive Republican nominee said: “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.”
“She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no—there’s nothing out there,” Trump continued.
Nevertheless, he suggested Clinton’s supposed lack of religiosity would lead to policies that should terrify evangelicals. “It’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse,” he warned, “because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse.”
The event was closed to the press, but one of the attendees—Republican pastor and politician E.W. Jackson—posted a clip of Trump’s remarks online.
While praying for the country’s leaders is important, Trump told the religious crowd, it is even more critical to “pray to get everybody out to vote” for him in November. He also accused politicians like Clinton and Obama of “selling Christianity down the tube.”
Trump’s skepticism of Clinton’s Christianity comes as particularly odd considering the doubts many hold about the sincerity of his own faith. While pandering to evangelicals with a Liberty University speech, he infamously mispronounced a biblical reference as “Two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians.”
Additionally, several times throughout Trump’s very public life, he’s been quoted as saying he doesn’t believe in heaven or hell—cornerstones of Christian theology; and has been described as “not a religious man.”
The top official from Trump’s own denomination has denounced the candidate. “Donald Trump’s views are not in keeping with the policies adopted by our church by deliberative process,” Presbyterian Church leader Gradye Parsons said.
This isn’t the first time Trump has questioned—or even impugned—an opposing politician’s personal background. Before the 2012 election, he became the de facto leader of a so-called birther movement against President Obama, tirelessly questioning the legitimacy of his birth certificate.
More recently, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee implied that the commander-in-chief was sympathetic or deferential to the man who murdered 49 innocent people in Orlando earlier this month after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said the day after the attack, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. He continued to assert, “there’s something going on” with Obama.