Recently, CBN released the complete softball interview that Pat Robertson conducted with President Trump at the White House, during which Trump explained that he wants to get rid of the Johnson Amendment so that he can hear more from the right-wing pastors who love him. The Johnson Amendment prevents tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from advocating for or against candidates for office and, back in May, Trump signed an executive order that instructed the “IRS to use maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment.” But Trump told Robertson that that was just a start and that he is waiting for Congress to permanently repeal the Johnson Amendment because “the evangelicals were so great to me” during the election.
Commenting on the interview with the televangelist and host of “The 700 Club,” President Trump referred to Pat Robertson as “a great American,” and “a man who has devoted his life to standing up for American values, especially when others would see them flushed down the drain.” “The thing is, the world changes and it evolves, and some of us are able to accept changes and change along with them, while others find it difficult to leave things behind and accept new ones,” Trump said. “For Pat, things have been tough these last few decades, especially with everything that’s been going on like terrorism and Muslim immigration and all that. For a man with his background, all these things appear differently than they do for the rest of us. But, that doesn’t make him a bad person, not at all.”
The president continued, “No, Pat Robertson is a white humanity lover and finding someone who appreciates life more than him is a difficult thing to do. He loves all people, and if I may say so myself, he seems to be particularly fond of me, which is something I’m very happy about. But at the same time, I’m not the only one. So, for him and many others like him, including entire organizations, for them not to be able to express their love for their president and others in more ways than one because of the Johnson Amendment, that’s just insane. It’s wrong and not only that; it is a violation of religious rights freedom, and simply put, we just can’t have that in this country. We’re not some oppressive, third-world backwater country that persecutes its church. No, the United States of America celebrates religious freedom and our laws must be in accordance with that.”
“That being said, I would also like to point out the absurdity of the Johnson Amendment; here we have numerous people and organizations who want to support me – as well as other political figures and candidates – but they’re not allowed to because of a piece of legislature? What is that if not oppression embodied? Not to mention that many agree that God has intervened and decided I was worthy of becoming president; and now you’d like people to believe that a man-made amendment is meant to prevent the church – the earthly house of God – to support me, the God-chosen president of the country? That’s insane. The same goes for Pat Robertson and any other Donald Trump supporter. We cannot allow the Johnson Amendment to continue violating people’s religious freedom anymore. It’s not the American thing to do,” he concluded.