Former Republican Rep. Ralph Reed, a leader in the conservative Christian movement, on Tuesday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to attack peaceful protesters so that he could hold a photo op with a Bible at St. John’s Church.
“As an American, I was glad that he went there,” Reed told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. “It was symbolic but that’s important. The things that he does with the bully pulpit of his office conveys a message and the message was, I believe, we’ re not going to allow our country to be run over by rioters and looters and terrorists.”
“The president has a responsibility and takes the oath of office with his hand on a Bible to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he added.
Several minutes later, a Republican caller accused Reed of being a hypocrite due to his support of Trump.
“Mr. Reed, since it is publicly known that [Trump] paid off prostitutes and porn stars, was cheating while his third wife was pregnant and all the other moral ineptitudes that he’s committed,” the caller said, “his inaction on the COVID-19 virus. He has recommended bleach and other things used on the human body.”
“His just utter chaos in office,” he continued. “His recent comments about the military. How in good conscience could you support a person like this.”
The caller added: “Mr. Reed, you are political opportunist of the first order and just like how the money lenders were shoved out of the temple by Jesus Christ, you should be too.”
Reed said the remark was a “personal attack.”
“I think the arguments you just made about Donald Trump are not only consistent with the Gospel that Jesus preached when he was here on Earth and taught,” the Christian conservative opined. “I think it’s the very opposite. He didn’t condemn people who were sinners and had led imperfect lives.”
Reed reminded the caller that Christ refused to shun a mixed-race Samaritan woman who had been married five times. He did not, however, explain how the story compared to Trump’s history of inflaming racial tensions.