October 2021 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

Former President Donald Trump is forming a new faith advisory board, a move that some observers believe may signal his intention to run again in 2024.

During his race for the White House, Trump aggressively courted conservative evangelicals and formed an Evangelical Advisory Board composed of leading Christian nationalist figures. The Forward, a Jewish newspaper, reported in August that many of the same figures who served on the board are coming together for the new group.

Among them is Paula White, a television preacher who led faith-based efforts during Trump’s term. Religion News Service (RNS) reported Sept. 4 that White is being joined by Jennifer Korn, who served as a special assistant to Trump through the White House Office of Public Liaison.

RNS reported that during a conference call, Korn told listeners the new advisory board will continue “the work of the White House Office of Public Liaison on the outside to make sure that we are one strong voice.”

Trump took part in the call, and RNS reported that he spent most of the time complaining about President Joe Biden’s record on religious issues, remarking, “A lot of things have happened with respect to faith and religion, and they’re not good things.” Trump added, “One of my greatest honors was fighting for religious liberty and for defending the Judeo-Christian values and principles of our nation’s founding.”

Trump listed several things he did to appease evangelicals, among them the false claim that he “totally obliterated” the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that bars tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Trump did issue an executive order relating to the amendment in 2017, but it was verbiage and didn’t change the law.

RNS reported that during the call, Trump falsely repeated that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, and he complained that he didn’t get more votes from Catholic and Jewish voters.