Public evidence of President Donald Trump as a devout Christian isn’t plentiful. (In one now-infamous 2016 campaign speech, for instance, he stumbled over the name of one book of the Bible, citing “Two Corinthians.”)
In the lead-up to 2016, white evangelicals were more divided about Trump. Since Trump took office, white evangelicals have remained among his most loyal backers.
This week, an editorial in Christianity Today stunned political observers by calling for Trump’s removal. The magazine, a venue for mainstream evangelical thought, was founded by the preacher Billy Graham, whose brand of bipartisanship seems incongruous with the faith’s politicization.
As Mark Galli, the publication’s editor in chief, told my colleague Emma Green, “Yes, he’s done some good things that I am grateful for. But the moral scales no longer balance.”
Impeachment has overshadowed another urgent story, one that also hinges on the president’s direct relationship with a foreign leader.
Desperate to salvage the détente, Trump has been warning Kim not to “interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election” (as if North Korea’s totalitarian leader has qualms about messing with American democracy) or to “void his special relationship with the President of the United States” (as if their bromance were contractual). He has relentlessly downplayed the recent spurt of missile tests, even as they’ve become more sophisticated and harder to dismiss.
“You can’t have the North Koreans, for example, do a submarine-launched [nuclear-capable] missile test and say it’s okay, while your closest ally, Japan, is going batshit,” Joseph Yun, who served as the State Department’s North Korea envoy from 2016 to 2018, told me.
Today’s newsletter was written by Saahil Desai, an associate editor on our Politics team, and edited by Shan Wang, who oversees newsletters. You can reply directly to this newsletter with questions or comments, or send a note to email@example.com.