Trump at Prayer Breakfast: Religion 'Central' to American Life

WATCH: Trump Speaks at National Prayer Breakfast LIVESTREAM

President Trump delivered a brief, uncharacteristically subdued message of faith and American values to religious leaders as a fresh crisis swirled in his White House, declaring on Thursday morning "we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American".

America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer. Every president since Eisenhower has spoken at the annual breakfast. "Today we thank God that Sophia is with us and she's recovering and she's walking very well", he said.

President Donald Trump on Thursday merged his "America first" governing philosophy with his religious views, saying Americans should feel lucky God placed them here. Our rights come from our creator. "No matter what, no Earthly force can take those rights away", the president said.

Such actions are powered by prayer, he said.

Last year, Trump kicked off his National Prayer Breakfast address thanking Celebrity Apprentice creator/executive producer Burnett, who had introduced him. Trump has seized on these concerns when he has advocated for things like a repeal of the Johnson Amendment. But the Senate later removed it from the final tax bill. "You don't hear the same tones of universal religious freedom from previous presidents". He spoke about seeing the "power of God's love" in Americans, particularly during the response to recent hurricanes and mass shootings. These can hardly be considered proof that America is a founded in faith.

And I have to say this, Sophia: You may only be 9 years old, but you are already a hero to all of us in this room, and all over the world.

For the second year in a row, Donald Trump decided to make the National Prayer Breakfast-a brunch date with Christian leaders-about his old TV show, The Apprentice.


The Prayer breakfast is a bipartisan event co-chaired by a Democrat and a Republican. "For 60 years, Doug devoted his time and passion to this prayer breakfast and to many other wonderful causes".

Even though he was speaking to evangelical Christians he did not mention agenda issues that are popular with them.

"When politicians can not agree with each other, that's the time when mere humans, mere people, should step in and start negotiating", he said, speaking through an interpreter.

The committee that handles the prayer breakfast is made up of Protestants and Catholics, and members make a point of inviting people from different faiths to the event. "And I think partially we have managed to do that today".

"People make speeches that are inappropriate, they can get political a little bit, but that always goes against what they're asked to do", Hunter said.

He said the measure "Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!"

The National Prayer Breakfast is the event during which then-President Obama compared the Crusades to ISIS.

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