President Donald Trump addressed the annual Values Voter Summit where he spoke for over an hour, touching on many topics including attacks on religious liberty, the impeachment process, and allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The president gave a speech at the VVS Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala dinner held Saturday evening at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The gala involved bestowing the Cost of Discipleship Award to Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey under false allegations of aiding terrorism.
“We believe that every American has the right to live by the dictates of their conscience and the teachings of their faith. We believe in the right to free exercise of religion,” Trump declared in his speech on Saturday night.
Trump added that “our shared values are under assault like never before” by “extreme left-wing radicals both inside and outside of government.”
“Far left socialists are trying to tear down the traditions and customs that made America the greatest nation on earth,” he said.
“They reject the principles of our founding fathers. Principles enshrined into the Declaration of Independence, which proclaim that our rights come from our Creator,” he said, adding that the “ultra-left” is trying to “silence and punish the speech of Christians and religious believers of all faiths.”
The president also talked about allegations leveled against United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who he nominated to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Trump labeled it an example of “outrageous smearing,” explaining with incredulity that some Democrats wanted to impeach Kavanaugh even without corroboration to confirm the allegations of sexual misconduct.
“And the whole thing was phony, so phony,” Trump said. “He’s a good man. What he’s gone through. I don’t know if anyone has gone through anything like that.”
The president also labeled the impeachment process being put against him by Democrat members of the House of Representatives as “outrageous.”
“Impeachment. I never thought I would see or hear that word with regard to me,” the president said. “An ugly word. To me, it’s an ugly word.”
“It means so much. It means horrible, horrible crimes and things. I can’t even believe it. It’s a witch hunt. It’s based on a single phone call of congratulations to the president of Ukraine which they fraudulently mischaracterized to sound absolutely horrible.”
On Wednesday, the Family Research Council, which oversees the annual event, announced that Trump was going to address the gathering of social conservatives.
FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement released Oct. 9 that he believed the Trump administration had done more to help “secure religious freedom abroad than under any other president in living memory.”
“Trump has made religious freedom a priority in his foreign policy, appointing Sam Brownback as Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, and choosing a Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who has made religious freedom a priority,” said Perkins.
“This emphasis has yielded tangible results, including an annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, dedicated funds to protect houses of worship, sanctions against regimes notorious for their religious persecution, and the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson and others imprisoned for their faith around the world.”
Trump previously spoke at the Values Voter Summit in 2017, in which the president said that his administration was “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.