President Trump swung into the Christmas spirit Friday by berating an influential evangelical magazine that called for his removal from office over the Ukraine scandal.
The magazine, Christianity Today, was founded by Reverend Billy Graham, the late father of Trump-boosting evangelist Franklin Graham, but the freshly impeached president did not pay that any mind as he unleashed a torrent of holiday fury in response to a blistering Thursday editorial penned by the outlet’s editor-in-chief.
“A far left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call,” the not so holly jolly commander-in-chief tweeted, referring to his infamous July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The president is banking on evangelicals as a key constituency to help him win reelection in 2020, and he threw them some red meat at them to hammer down that point as part of his Twitter tirade.
“(Christianity Today) would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion and your guns, than Donald Trump as president,” he continued. “No president has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close.”
Butchering the acronym for the magazine, Trump capped off the corrosive missive: “I won’t be reading ET again!”
In two more tweets, Trump claimed Christianity Today are looking for a president with a “socialist/communist bent,” such as Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
“How about Sleepy Joe?” Trump added, referring to former vice president Joe Biden.
Despite Trump’s accusations, Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli made the case in his editorial that it’s an evangelical moral duty to boot Trump from the White House over his attempts to pressure Zelensky into launching investigations of Biden and other political rivals before the 2020 election.
“That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral,” Galli wrote.
Galli noted his magazine has long reserved judgement on Trump’s moral shortcomings out of respect for his readers’ “different political convictions.”
But Trump’s Ukraine scheme was the final straw, and Galli did not hold back in the seething piece.
“He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud,” Galli wrote. “His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
The editor concluded with a plea for other evangelicals to join him in urging the Republican-controlled Senate to convict and remove Trump on the two articles of impeachment approved by the House this week.
“If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?” he wrote. “Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?”