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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough challenged the author of a “spiritual biography” of President Donald Trump to explain himself in a contentious interview.
David Brody, the White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, promoted his new ebook “The Faith of Donald Trump” during an appearance Tuesday on “Morning Joe” — where the host asked him to prove his claims about the president’s religious belief.
“The center of any faith is understanding that you are a broken person, that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and forgiveness for our continued sins,” Scarborough said. “Donald Trump has said, ‘I never ask God for forgiveness, if I do something wrong I try to leave him out of it.’ He’s never asked for God’s forgiveness. That doesn’t pass the sniff test in any evangelical church, does it?”
Brody said Trump had publicly asked God’s forgiveness at an Iowa event — where he actually said taking communion was the same as seeking mercy — and the Christian reporter said the president speaks more openly about faith “behind the scenes.”
“He’s saying it behind closed doors,” Scarborough interrupted. “Why is it hard for Donald Trump to say, ‘I am a sinner, I have fallen short of God’s glory and I depend on God’s forgiveness for me to move forward?”
Brody said the president has “been on a spiritual voyage” over the last five years, even if that wasn’t always apparent.
“As a mainline Presbyterian, his faith he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve like many others out there,” Brody said.
“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of the story,” he continued. “We’ve heard one side of the book, and I’m telling you there are stories to be told that show a much different side of Donald Trump than people might expect.”
Scarborough asked him to show Trump’s faith on display in his Twitter feed, and Brody shared some anecdotes about the president praying with televangelist James Robison in Pensacola — and the host asked him to stop bluffing.
“You’re not stupid,” Scarborough said. “You’re not dumb, you have grown up — you know exactly what I’m talking about. You know exactly what you’re doing. You’re dissembling because you know there is no — you talk about me. I say all the time I’m broken, I screw up every day, I’m a terrible person.”
“If I go to church I go to church begging God for forgiveness,” he added. “You know why? Because that is the center of the Christian faith. All I am asking you is, has Donald Trump once said publicly that he has sinned, fallen short of the glory of God, and asked for God’s forgiveness.”
Brody insisted Trump had, but he admitted a Google search of those remarks would turn up an interview he conducted with the president on one of his golf courses.
“He said it privately to you, and that’s the public statement you’re talking about?” co-host Mika Brzezinski chimed in.
Brody admitted he had been responsible for publicly reporting those private comments, and then he tried to move the goalposts again.
“Let’s remember, the book is called ‘The Faith of Donald Trump,’ it’s not called ‘The Sainthood of Donald Trump,’” Brody said.