Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump put together a new Evangelical advisory board.
The group of over 20 pastors will give advisory support to Trump on issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith here in the United States.
During Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now, three of the chosen pastors spoke with Roland Martin about how the board plans to assist Trump as he campaigns for the highest office in the land.
Pastor A.R. Bernard, Bishop Harry Jackson, and Pastor Mark Burns discuss whether Trump was correct to question the faith of Hillary Clinton and also discussed if they personally support the often-times controversial Republican candidate for president.
Martin wasted no time getting to one of the most important questions facing the advisory board: Is this an endorsement of Donald Trump?
Bishop Harry Jackson responded, “No, it is not an endorsement. It is an opportunity to influence the campaign and get some benefits for Black people.”
Though Bishop Jackson said he is not endorsing Trump, he did agree with the notion of supporting him by way of “putting forth some agenda items,” which include education, jobs, and criminal justice reform.
Jackson added, “These are issues that Black people need to have Hillary step up and put some concrete things on the table, and so we want to help Trump get it right about the issues.”
Martin pressed him again on whether or not he is supporting the self-proclaimed billionaire for president. Jackson responded, “At this particular time, I’m advising Trump and I will support him if he follows through with all of the things that he is promising to do.”
Pastor A.R. Bernard told Martin he is not supporting Trump and said, “If you think supporting him is advising him, then fine.” He added, “I’m surprised he asked for advice – I think that’s a very important step.”
Bernard, CEO of Christian Cultural Center, differentiated himself from other participants on Trump’s advisory board and later said, “I’m particularly interested in what he’s going to do to address the socioeconomic plight of Black people in this country – especially marginalized and disenfranchised.”
In a video recorded by Bishop Jackson, Trump criticized the faiths of Clinton and President Barack Obama: “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.”
He added, “She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s out there … It’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse.”
Pastor Bernard replied, “I think we have to be very careful when we begin to question someone’s faith” and said he knows “they identify themselves as Christian.”
Bishop Jackson believed Trump was attempting to “talk from the heart” and said, “I don’t think anybody should be judged in that way.”
Watch Roland Martin, Pastor A.R. Bernard, Pastor Mark Burns, and Bishop Harry Jackson discuss Donald Trump’s Evangelical advisory board and the debate over questioning the faith of Hillary Clinton in the video clip above.
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