President Donald Trump hosted an evangelical pastor who once said Jewish people were going to hell at the White House Hanukkah reception on Wednesday.
Robert Jeffress, a prominent Christian leader from Dallas, has a long history of hateful comments toward other faiths.
In 2010, he called both Islam and Mormonism “a heresy from the pit of hell,” then issued a warning to Jews.
“Judaism ― you can’t be saved being a Jew,” he declared on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
In a 2009 sermon, he said:
“Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell. You know, Jesus was very clear. Hell is not only going to be populated by murderers and drug dealers and child abusers. Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”
Earlier this, Jeffress said evangelicals who don’t support the president are “spineless morons” and hailed Trump as a “Christian warrior”.
During the White House Hannukah reception, Jeffress gave a speech calling Trump “the most pro-faith president in history” and said he is “on the right side of God”.
His praise has not gone unnoticed by the president, who said on Wednesday: “I didn’t know him, but I watched him, and I’d watch him on different shows. I said, ‘I like that guy. Man, he really talks great about me, and I like people that talk well about me.’”
Trump signed an executive order at the event effectively defining Judaism under federal law as a race and nationality, as well as a religion.