Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, once again found himself in the hot seat on Tuesday night during an incredibly awkward on-air exchange with CNN’s Don Lemon.
Graham, who said that President Donald Trump is a “changed person” and that God put Trump in office, casted doubt on some of the allegations that have been waged against the commander in chief. Meanwhile, Lemon pushed back and used biblical arguments to try and bolster his stance against Trump’s comments and behavior.
While Graham noted that Trump has denied having an affair with porn star Storm Daniels and that there is no evidence such an indiscretion definitively unfolded, Lemon questioned why the evangelist was so willing to take Trump’s side.
“That was a long time ago. I’m more interested, Don, in who a person is today than what they were 11 years ago,” Graham said. “I believe that he’s a changed person. I’ve never seen anyone get attacked like he’s attacked. He’s attacked by the media every day.”
Watch the awkward exchange below:
But Lemon pushed back once again and questioned whether Graham had seen any other president attack people with the same fervor and frequency that Trump does.
“He attacks anyone … He attacks the media for reporting facts,” Lemon said. “Turn the other cheek … isn’t that a Christian value? Aren’t you supposed to turn the other cheek instead of attack?”
Lemon said he simply can’t understand why so many Christians “twist themselves into pretzels” in an effort to excuse Trump’s behavior, noting that it seems to fly in the face of the values that he was taught in Catholic school and at a Baptist Sunday school.
“The Bible and everyone always taught me to ‘do unto others’ and to not attack others,” he said. “And that’s all this president does.”
At one point, Graham also added that he believes God had a hand in Trump’s election.
“I think God put him there,” Graham said.
Watch more below:
The Lemon and Graham spat comes after a separate MSNBC debate during which the evangelist was asked if Trump has a “sin problem.” Find out what Graham had to say about that here.