Ten Christian evangelical leaders offered their support for White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on July 24 before Kushner gave his closed-door testimony to Senate investigators.
Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, was being questioned about a June 2016 meeting that he attended with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who allegedly promised unflattering information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Washington Post notes the Southern Baptist pastors who voiced their support for Kushner included Ronnie Floyd, Jack Graham, Robert Jeffress and David Jeremiah. Kushner also got support from Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., ex-Liberty University chaplain Johnnie Moore, Maryland pastor Harry Jackson and Florida TV evangelist Paula White.
"I deplore that politics in this country has descended into blood-sport wherein good people like the Kushners, in order to serve the country they love, must endure unfounded attacks on their character, honesty, and trustworthiness," said George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
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Samuel Rodriguez, who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called Kushner, who is Jewish, "a great gift" to evangelical Christians, and added, "We have always found him to be 'an ever-present help in time of need.'"
"Clearly, this Russian story is nonsense and it must end," said White. "Enough is enough."
Michael Wear, a Christian who was head of faith outreach for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and worked for the Obama administration, told The Washington Post: "Who does Paula White represent? What policy expertise does she have? Who has empowered her to speak on behalf of their policy recommendations ... unlike Trump’s hand-picked supported people who will put a collar on defending Jared Kushner."
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"It’s just like God to use a young Jewish couple [Kushner and first daughter Ivanka Trump] to help Christians in the United States, defend their rights, and secure their religious freedom for now, and for subsequent generations," Jeremiah wrote in his letter defending Kushner.
"I’ve never known him not to take seriously any question or issue we’ve raised with him," said Graham, praising Kushner.
The statements of support for Kushner were publicly released by Moore, who runs a Christian marketing and PR firm.
"[Kushner has] been a real friend to us," said Moore. "He’s opened doors for us. It's like if I have a family member that's accused of something and I know that’s absurd I'm going to raise my voice. That’s how we feel."
Moore added that evangelical Christians feel "a connectedness" to Kushner’s Orthodox Jewish faith, even though it directly contradicts evangelical Christian teaching regarding Jesus.
Rob Schwarzwalder, a veteran of Christian politics and teacher at Pat Robertson's Regent University, tried to explain the quick defense of Kushner: "There’s a circle-the-wagons effect, and it might be resulting in the unqualified support from leaders. The only person we should give unqualified allegiance is the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything other than that is a form of idolatry."
Falwell praised Kushner, and attacked unidentified "holdovers from the Obama administration" in his statement, reports Newsmax:
I believe the only criminal collusion occurring over the last year has been collusion between the media and government officials who are holdovers from the Obama administration leaking classified and secret information in an attempt to discredit our president. Through their actions, they are aiding and abetting those abroad who wanted to divide our country in 2016.
The endless attempts by the media to keep the fake Russia collusion story alive solely to obstruct the president's agenda have destroyed the media's credibility with the people and needs to stop. In Jared Kushner, they've picked the wrong fight. I don't know a more competent person. He is brilliant and is a man of the highest integrity.