In private, Trump mocks one of his core sources of political support.
Trump privately derided conservative evangelicals who support him, mocking them while publicly praising their role in propping up his unpopular presidency, The Washington Post said on Thursday, reporting from the new book "American Carnage", by writer Tim Alberta.
"Those fucking evangelicals," Trump said when meeting with Republican lawmakers as he smiled and shook his head.
Alberta discusses the tacit agreement between Trump and the critical bloc of conservative voters, in which he would "give them the policies and the access to authority that they longed for." In exchange, they would turn a blind eye to his racism and misogyny and "stand behind him unwaveringly."
Despite Trump's admitted history of sexual assault and public statements in support of Nazis and in favor of other bigotry, he has retained conservative evangelical support.
Alberta notes the key role of Mike Pence in propping up Trump with conservative evangelicals as well.
"Pence's talent for bootlicking — he was nicknamed 'the Bobblehead' by Republicans on Capitol Hill for his solemn nodding routine whenever Trump spoke — were at their most obscene during meetings at the White House," the author notes.
Pence has regularly used his role in the vice presidency to present a ludicrously sanitized version of Trump, promoting him to religious audiences as an exemplar of the values they claim to believe in.
Pence has done so even after the details of Trump's payoffs to hide his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels were reported on. Pence continues the practice to this day.
Trump is a corrupt bigot who represents values completely contrary to what conservative evangelicals purport to believe in.
His private commentary on them betrays the disingenuous tradeoff he has put in place, giving them power in exchange for turning a blind eye to his considerable moral failings.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.