Donald Trump Insists He Has a 'Great Relationship' With God and Evangelicals
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has insisted in an interview that he has a "great relationship" with God, and that people would be surprised to find out the kind of life he actually lives.
Trump said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he enjoys a "very great relationship with God" and with Evangelical voters, looking ahead at the upcoming Iowa primary.
"I live a very different life than probably a lot of people would think," Trump claimed. "I'm talking about over the last number of years, I'm leading a very good life. I try to lead a good life and I have. And frankly, (it's) the reason I'm doing so well in Iowa."
CNN noted that Trump, who is now married to his third wife Melania, saw his marriage and divorce history "fill the gossip pages" in the 1990s, though the billionaire businessman says that such problems are now behind him.
"I've had — actually I have a great marriage, I have a great wife now. My two wives were very good. And I don't blame them, but I was working, maybe like you, 22 hours a day," he said. "I blame myself because my business was so powerful for me. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing."
Earlier in 2015 before he announced his presidential campaign, Trump said that he is a 'proud Presbyterian' and pledged to represent Christians in office.
"First of all I'm Protestant. I'm Presbyterian. I'm proud of it. I'm very proud of it," Trump told CBN's David Brody in June. "Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they've had in a long time."
Later in July, however, he revealed that he's not sure if he has ever asked God for forgiveness.
"I'm not sure I have ever asked God's forgiveness. I don't bring God into that picture," Trump said while responding to a question at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
The Republican candidate added: "When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness. I do that as often as I can because I feel cleansed. I say let's go on and let's make it right."
In September, Trump attempted to strengthen his image in a private meeting with 40 religious leaders, where he said that he is a man of faith," but just doesn't wear it on his sleeve.
That meeting was criticized by Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, however, who said that Trump met with people who mainstream Evangelicals would consider heretics.
"The people that Trump has so far identified as his evangelical outreach are mostly prosperity gospel types, which are considered by mainstream evangelicals to be heretics," Moore told Politico at the time.
"Trump seems to be positioning himself as a secular version of the health-and-wealth televangelists … What Donald Trump is doing in terms of promises for the future is very similar to what's going on among these prosperity gospel hawkers," he added.