WASHINGTON (RNS) — In another sign Donald Trump is eyeing a run to regain the White House, the former president and his religious advisers announced the launch of a national faith advisory board on Thursday (Sept. 2), apparently aimed at reinvigorating his conservative Christian base.
The new initiative, first reported by the Jewish news outlet The Forward, was formally unveiled on a conference call organized by Intercessors for America and led by longtime Trump adviser Paula White. The Pentecostal megachurch pastor said the new effort, which includes participation from “70 executives,” is intended to continue the “great work that we have done,” referring to efforts she oversaw as head of the Trump White House’s faith-based office.
White drew parallels to the creation of a previous “faith advisory board,” a likely reference to a group of largely evangelical Christian leaders who advised the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and operated as an informal council on religion matters throughout his presidency.
“It grew to the most robust coalition in modern-day history,” White said of the board’s work. “Our unity brought unprecedented victories, influence and access.”
White was joined by Jennifer Korn, who previously served as a special assistant to then-President Trump through his White House Office of Public Liaison. Korn told listeners the new national faith advisory board would be “continuing the work of the White House Office of Public Liaison on the outside to make sure that we are one strong voice.”
Trump took up most of the rest of the call with lengthy remarks in which he oscillated between critiquing President Joe Biden’s record on faith-based issues — “a lot of things have happened with respect to faith and religion, and they’re not good things” — and praising his own tenure, saying, “One of my greatest honors was fighting for religious liberty and for defending the Judeo-Christian values and principles of our nation’s founding.”
He listed various Trump administration accomplishments popular with conservative Christians, such as designating Jerusalem the capital of Israel, founding a new White House faith office, declaring churches “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic and appointing conservative judges to the federal bench and the Supreme Court.
Trump alluded to last week’s decision by the Supreme Court not to block a controversial Texas abortion ban, saying, “Even last night, you’re getting some very powerful decisions, more powerful than anybody would have thought.”