President Donald Trump bowed his head and prayed on Wednesday alongside his cabinet secretaries, but he said something to journalists just before the invocation that sparked quite a bit of attention.
The moment came when Trump addressed the media in the room, telling reporters that they were free to stay for the prayer and then uttering an apparent quip that sparked some laughter, The Hill reported.
“You can stay if you want to, because you need the prayer more than I do, I think,” he said. “You may be the only ones. Maybe a good, solid prayer and they’ll be honest men. Is that possible?”
And with that swipe at the media, Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, led the group in prayer, as Trump bowed his head and closed his eyes.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 20, 2017
The text of Carson’s prayer went as follows:
Our kind father in heaven, we’re so thankful for the opportunities and the freedom that you’ve granted us in this country. We thank You for a president and for Cabinet members who are courageous, who are willing to face the winds of controversy in order to perhaps provide a better future for those who come behind us. We’re thankful for the unity in Congress that has presented an opportunity for our economy to expand so that we can fight the corrosive debt that has been destroying our future. And we hope that that unity will spread even beyond party lines so that people recognize that we have a nation that is worth saving and recognize that nations divided against themselves cannot stand.
Carson concluded the prayer by asking God to give leaders both wisdom to guide the nation as well as “a spirit of gratitude, compassion and common sense,” as CNN reported.