Televangelist Paula White said on CNN Friday that Donald Trump is a "man who loves God" and is "hungry in his heart for God," a claim many Christian leaders have long doubted.
White, who has been friends with Trump for many years and is one of his spiritual advisers, told host Erin Burnett that when Trump watched a few of her sermons on Chritsian television, he randomly called her up and repeated them back to her almost verbatim.
Host Erin Burnett asked White about Trump's missteps when speaking about faith, including his clumsy use of "two Corinthians" and his claim that he did not need to ask God for forgiveness.
"I've been preaching for 32 years, and I say names, I go 'Guys, I'm making up the names, I'm saying it wrong, my pronunciation isn't always right,' but I understand that they want to hold Donald to the letter to the law. But what I can absolutely tell you about him is that he is a man who loves God," White said, adding that Trump is "much more hungry in his heart for God than I think people would imagine or expect."
White further shared that Trump once asked her: "Paula, when do you turn the other cheek and when do you forgive?" citing such an inquiry as evidence of his "deep-seated faith questions and deep-seated heart."
The Christian Post landed an exclusive interview with Paula White on July 8, and asked her why Christians should trust Donald Trump.
"Let me tell you a story that no one knows. Right after the gathering in New York with 1,000 evangelicals, Mr. Trump called me. He said, 'Paula, they know I will fight for them, right?'" White said.
"I don't know how to convince someone to trust anybody in these cynical times, but it would be appropriate to ask those who joined me in meeting with him at Trump Tower on June 21. They all left saying they trust him, and these are all leaders in the Evangelical community who are admired and trusted themselves," she continued.
Though he received much pushback for saying so, in late June James Dobson claimed that Paula White had personally led Donald Trump to Christ and that he was a "baby Christian," words he has since walked back from, though it did not keep him from ultimately endorsing him during the week of the Republican National Convention.
Critics continue to say that Trump doesn't exhibit fruits of the spirit. As recently as June, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore said that his prayer for Donald Trump would be that "he would repent of sins and come to faith in Jesus Christ," in hope that Trump would change how he acts. CP reported in May that Moore had also said that Trump represents an "embrace of the very kind of moral and cultural decadence that conservatives have been saying for a long time is the problem."
White is the senior pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida and was one of approximately 40 religious leaders who met with Trump for a private prayer service at Trump Tower in New York last September. In June she attended Trump's meeting with more than 900 evangelical leaders and was appointed to Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board.