The author of a new book titled The Faith of Donald Trump attempted to explain in an interview Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" why the president once said that he does not ask God for forgiveness, by pointing out that Trump is a mainline Presbyterian.
Joe Scarborough asked author David Brody, who is White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, about comments Trump made in July 2015 about forgiveness, and how they square up with the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
Scarborough noted that he has grown up in Southern Baptist churches for four decades, and can say that "the center of any faith is understanding that you are a broken person, that all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory and forgiveness for our continued sins."
The morning show host asked: "Donald Trump has said, 'I never ask God for forgiveness, if I do something wrong I try to leave him out of it.' He's never asked for God's forgiveness. That doesn't pass the sniff test in any evangelical church, does it?"
Brody, who said that Trump has told him that he is a believer in Jesus Christ in private interviews, pointed out that several people close to him, including Vice President Mike Pence and spiritual adviser Paula White, can vouch at "100 percent" that Trump believes in Jesus.
Scarborough insisted on asking, however, why it is so hard for Trump to say "I am a sinner, I have fallen short of God's glory and I depend on God's forgiveness for me to move forward?"
Brody argued that the reason why Trump doesn't use such language in public is because of his denomination: "As a mainline Presbyterian, his faith, he doesn't wear it on his sleeve like many others out there, like say the Pentecostals."
Some, such as former Republican U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, claimed in October 2016 that Trump "absolutely" prays for forgiveness.
Carson revealed that Trump prayed with televangelist James Robison, with their prayers including the plea for forgiveness.
Brody also argued on the "Morning Joe" interview that the media often tries to question Trump's faith, and described the president as being on a "spiritual voyage."
"There is different story behind what you are seeing in public," the author claimed. "I'm telling you there are stories to be told that show a much different side of Donald Trump than people might expect."
Scarborough questioned why Trump's supposed strong spiritual side is only talked about in closed circles, and brought the discussion back to the central Christian belief of asking for forgiveness.
"I say all the time I'm broken, I screw up every day, I'm a terrible person," the MSNBC host reflected.
"If I go to church, I go to church begging God for forgiveness," he continued. "You know why? Because that is the center of the Christian faith. All I am asking you is, has Donald Trump once said publicly that he has sinned, fallen short of the glory of God, and asked for God's forgiveness."
Brody affirmed of at least one occasion when Trump told him on a golf course that he does ask God for forgiveness.
"Let's remember, the book is called 'The Faith of Donald Trump,' it's not called 'The Sainthood of Donald Trump,'" the author argued, adding that at the end, God is going to be Trump's judge, and will also judge everyone else in the world.
Scarborough has strongly questioned Trump's faith in the past as well, claiming in October 2017 that the president is the "antithesis" of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Trump in turn has blasted Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski in a number of Twitter posts, calling the former "crazy" and the latter "dumb as a rock."
Watch David Brody's MSNBC interview below: