Donald Trump met with evangelical leaders at Trump Tower shortly after his election – before allegedly turning to his ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen after they left, and telling him ‘Can you believe people believe that bulls***?’
Cohen’s new book, Disloyal, out on Tuesday, described the encounter.
Evangelical voters were seen as key to Trump’s victory, marshaled to a large extent by Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, a famously devout evangelical.
About one in four American adults belong to an evangelical denomination, according to research by the Brookings Institute.
Trump was keen to court them, and yet, according to Cohen, was deeply disparaging behind their backs.
After a prayer meeting, when evangelical leaders laid their hands on him, Trump allegedly said: ‘Can you believe that bulls***? Can you believe people believe that bulls***?’
Cohen writes, in excerpts of his book obtained by the Washington Post: ‘The cosmic joke was that Trump convinced a vast swathe of working-class white folks in the Midwest that he cared about their well-being.
‘The truth was that he couldn’t care less.’
Trump’s three marriages, alleged infidelities, previous pro-choice comments and dubious business deals were all glossed over during the election – to startling effect.
The 2016 National Election Pool Exit Survey had Trump leading Hillary Clinton among white evangelicals by 79 per cent to 16 per cent, Brookings reports.
Pence, the most influential evangelical in U.S. politics, has not commented on Cohen’s claims.
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