CNN's Erin Burnett grilled Jerry Falwell on her program Wednesday about President Trump's evangelical support in light of all the Stormy Daniels allegations. Framing her questions in a way that made evangelicals seem like hypocrites, Falwell pushed back by explaining it's all about forgiveness.
“When you choose a doctor or lawyer, or when you decide which movie to watch, you don’t check the doctor or the lawyer’s past to see if they’ve had an extramarital affair. I enjoy movies, whether the actors and actresses have behaved their whole lives or not. Same thing with musicians. It’s just that we are all sinners. Nobody understands that better than evangelicals.” (Mediaite)
Falwell also compared Trump's scandal as being much less extreme than Bill Clinton's White House affair, yet even his supporters stuck with him.
“I think he’s had a change of heart,” Falwell said. “I don’t think there’s any chance of anything like this happening in the White House like Bill Clinton was accused of or John Kennedy was accused of… I think just like with Bill Clinton, many of his supporters stuck with him no matter what he was accused of, even rape I believe he was accused of. And, you know, it’s a hypothetical question, so I can’t really answer it.”
Burnett interpreted that to mean that Falwell would support Trump even in light of rape allegations.
“But hypothetically, you would be okay with even that?" she asked. "Is that what you are opening the door to? Rape?”
“No, no,” Falwell responded. “I’m just saying I have to wait and see the circumstances to make that judgement.”
It's a common complaint among Trump critics: How can Christians continue supporting a man who seems to have no moral compass? Even outgoing GOP Rep. Charlie Dent (PA) has asked that question.
"I don’t know how many in the evangelical community can reconcile some of their positions at this moment," Dent told Anderson Cooper this week.
Those same religious folks who were so critical of Bill Clinton in the 1990s have been "pretty damn silent" on Trump, Dent noticed.
His supporters explain that our leaders are not expected to be perfect, nor have squeaky clean records. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has said that the president deserves a "mulligan."