Donald Trump is a Christian who understands repentance: spiritual adviser

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U.S. President Donald Trump winces while delivering remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S. August 12, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump winces while delivering remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S. August 12, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser has said that the US leader is not a racist, and that he is a Christian who understands repentance. The statement was made at the Religion News Association’s annual conference in Nashville in front of a crowd of journalists.

Paula White admitted that she regretted saying on the PTL Network’s “Jim Bakker Show” last month that the president is someone “authentically raised up by God.” “I’m a preacher, and I got a little fired up, and I said some things that I wish I wouldn’t have said and some things that could most definitely and have most definitely been taken out of context,” she explained.

White clarified that the regret comes not because she did not believe what she said. Instead, she said the reason was because of the responsibility of her role.

In response to a question by freelance religion reporter Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, White said there “absolutely” is a line Trump could cross that would lead her to publicly criticise him. She did not say what that line might be. “We tend to privately criticize and publicly stay together because I believe that’s how within a family, within church, within leadership, that is how things should be handled,” she said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Moreover, the megachurch pastor addressed her remarks that appeared to say those who opposed the president were "fighting against the hand of God.” She explained she was talking about the various types of prayer, as even in anyone’s personal life, he would sometimes find himself fighting against the hand of God. In other words, she said that people tend to be rebellious and stubborn, individually, nationally or corporately.

She also shared that she has been trying to surround the president with men and women of God so he can hear their views, concerns and community needs. The preacher said she had already connected Trump to almost 400 religious leaders, adding it is important for her to ensure that door and that access continues for people of faith.

White, one of the evangelical faith leaders who regularly meet with Trump, also said the threat of the hurricane Irma was a “difficult” experience and her church could be a relief centre. Her statements suggest she has been a friend and counsellor to Trump for over 16 years.

White has become the first clergywoman to pray at a presidential inauguration. She leads the evangelical advisers to the president.

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