A new book reports that former President Donald Trump made disparaging comments about evangelical Christians during the 2016 Republican primary.
The then-GOP candidate described evangelicals backing rival Republican hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as “so-called Christians” and “some real pieces of shit,” The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta wrote in his upcoming “The Kingdom, The Power, And The Glory: American Evangelicals In An Age Of Extremism.”
The Guardian shared the detail from the book on Thursday ahead of its Dec. 5 release.
Trump was sent “into a spiral” and speculated “there was a conspiracy among powerful evangelicals to deny him the GOP nomination” after he drew ridicule for flubbing on what was his favorite Bible verse ― saying “Two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians,” per Alberta. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins then endorsed Cruz.
Watch Trump’s gaffe here:
“When Cruz’s allies began using the ‘Two Corinthians’ line to attack him in the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Trump told one Iowa Republican official, ‘You know, these so-called Christians hanging around with Ted are some real pieces of shit,’” Alberta reported Trump as saying.
Trump “in private over the coming years” would “use even more colorful language to describe the evangelical community,” Alberta added, per the Guardian.
The evangelical block would ultimately prove key in helping Trump to beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump’s derogatory comments emerged this week as influential Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, who reportedly voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, threw his full backing behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
“I think America would be well served to have a choice, and I really believe Ron DeSantis should be that guy,” Vander Plaats said when endorsing DeSantis. “And I think Iowa is tailor-made for him to win this. ”
Last November, several key evangelical figures claimed they were now ditching Trump — for the time being at least.
“Donald Trump can’t save America,” Mike Evans said at the time. “He can’t even save himself.”
“The Republican Party is headed toward a civil war that I have no desire or need to be part of,” claimed Robert Jeffress, a Trump 2016 adviser. But he admitted he’d “happily” vote for the four-times-indicted Trump as the nominee.