Sarah Huckabee Sanders: God "wanted Donald Trump to become president"

"That's why he's there"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 31, 2019 9:06AM (EST)

Donald Trump; Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Salon)
Donald Trump; Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Salon)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary to President Donald Trump, told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she believes God wanted Trump to win the presidency in 2016.

"I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that's why he's there," Sanders recently told CBN's David Brody and Jennifer Wishon, according to a transcript of the CBN interview that was provided to CNN.

She added, "I think he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about."

Sanders also attacked Democrats' ability to take moral stances on political issues when the question of Trump's morality was extended to his proposed US-Mexico border wall — one that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had denounced as "immoral" in the past — because of their support for access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

"I mean honestly, it's very hard at this point to even take a lecture from Democrats on what is moral and what isn't. People who are willing to allow legislation to pass supporting late-term abortion, the idea that they would take out 'So help me God' in the platform that House Democrats have raised this week," Sanders began to say.

The press secretary then pivoted to the border wall question by arguing, "The idea that protecting the people of your country, which is the fundamental duty of being president of the United States, would in some way be immoral is a ridiculous charge."

Sanders' comments are an echo of controversial remarks made by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins last January, when he defended Trump's past immoral behavior — including multiple infidelities and regular use of vulgarity — on the grounds that he was pushing for policies that the Christian Right supports.

"We kind of gave him—‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here,’" Perkins told Politico's Off Message podcast. He added that Evangelical Christians "were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully."

Sanders didn't only discuss faith-based matters during her CBN interview. She also defended the president for not interacting more with the press, arguing that "the President himself engages with the media more than any president has in history. He's the most accessible, and I think the White House, in general, is the most accessible when it comes to the media."

She insisted that "there's certainly no desire by our team and certainly by the President to withhold information."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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