President Trump has urged Evangelical leaders to get their followers to the polls in November or face Democrats overturning his conservative agenda “violently.”
“You’re one election away from losing everything that you’ve gotten,” Mr. Trump told the group at a White House dinner. “It’s not a question of like or dislike, it’s a question that they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people.”
Mr. Trump’s comments came after reporters were required to leave the public portion of the event Monday night. An audio recording of his private remarks was obtained by several news outlets from someone who attended the dinner.
The president said the Nov. 6 election “is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion, it’s a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment.”
“The level of hatred, the level of anger is unbelievable,” he said of the administration’s opponents. “Part of it is because of some of the things I’ve done for you and for me and for my family, but I’ve done them.”
At his public rallies, Mr. Trump often predicts a “red wave” in November, although he said last week that he believes it will be difficult for the GOP not to lose seats in the House.
In his private comments Monday night, the president acknowledged the challenges that traditionally face the party in power during the midterms.
“The polls might be good, but a lot of them say they are going to vote in 2020, but they’re not going to vote if I’m not on a ballot,” he said. “I think we’re doing well, I think we’re popular, but there’s a real question as to whether people are going to vote if I’m not on the ballot. And I’m not on the ballot.”
He said evangelical leaders could help by galvanizing their congregations to vote.
“I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote. Because if they don’t — it’s November 6 — if they don’t vote, we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time,” he said.
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