Trump warns Christian leaders of 'violence' if GOP loses the House in 2018
President Trump warned of "violence" if the GOP loses the House in the November midterm elections while speaking to evangelical leaders Monday evening.
"They will overturn everything that we've done, and they'll do it quickly and violently, and violently. There's violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people,” Trump said in a private dinner with Christian leaders, according to recorded excerpts observed by NBC News.
In the White House meeting, Trump also repeated his claim that he got “rid of” the so-called Johnson Amendment, which states that churches are charities and are prohibited from participating in political campaigns. "Now one of the things I'm most proud of is getting rid of the Johnson Amendment," the president said. "That was a disaster for you."
Despite Trump's boast, presidents do not have the power to repeal a law. Congress can repeal a law and the Supreme Court can rule a law unconstitutional. Neither has happened with the Johnson Amendment.
Trump emphasized that the upcoming November midterm elections are important to Christian leaders because it could be a referendum on their religion and the First Amendment.
"The level of hatred, the level of anger is unbelievable," Trump told the audience Monday night. "Part of it is because of some of the things I've done for you and for me and for my family, but I've done them. ... This Nov. 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment."
In his claim of getting rid of the Johnson Amendment, Trump told the religious leaders that they were “not silenced anymore” and they would not be penalized for getting involved in political campaigns.
"Now you're not silenced anymore. It's gone and there's no penalty anymore, and if you like somebody or if you don't like somebody, you can go out and say, 'This man is going to be great for evangelicals or for Christianity or for another religion. This person is somebody that I like and I'm going to talk about it on Sunday,’” Trump said.
Original article at the Washington Examiner, here.