Evangelical leader Franklin Graham says Trump is a ‘changed person’


President Donald Trump is a “changed person” amid recent reports of an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, the President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has said.

“These alleged affairs, they’re alleged with Trump, didn’t happen while he was in office,” Franklin Graham told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight” on Tuesday.

Graham’s remarks come after a Wall Street Journal report that Trump attorney Michael Cohen formed a private LLC to pay a former porn star in exchange for not speaking publicly about an alleged sexual relationship with the candidate at the time. CNN has not independently confirmed the Wall Street Journal reporting, and in response to the Wall Street Journal’s initial report on the matter, Cohen said the rumors had been circulating since 2011 and that Trump “once again denies vehemently such an event”.

Lemon asked why “evangelicals were so willing to shout, say Bill Clinton’s behavior but not President Trump’s?”

Graham argued that there was a difference between Clinton’s extramarital affair and Trump’s “alleged affair”.

“It happened 11, 12, 13, 14 years ago,” he said. “And so, I think there’s a big difference and not that we give anybody a pass, but we have to look at the schedule and that was before he was in office.”

Graham argued that the president has matured over the years. However, Lemon cited controversial tweets and recent reports of Trump’s derogatory remarks regarding certain nations in Africa.

“There’s a lot of presidents who’ve had bad language and a lot of these things that have been accused of the president, I’m not sure they’re true,” Graham said. “He says he didn’t. And the others who said he didn’t.

In his continued defense of Trump, Graham said the president is a businessman, not a politician and “he talks a certain way” to get his point across. Graham pointed out that Trump “offended” people, but claimed that God put him in the White House for a reason.

“I believe Donald Trump is a good man,” he said. “He did everything wrong as a candidate and he won, and I don’t understand it. Other than that I think God put it there.

Barry F. Howard