Trump’s prayer breakfast jibes jolt many faith leaders

Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., left, President Donald Trump, center, and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., pray during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The National Prayer Breakfast has been a Washington tradition since 1953. And by custom, it provides a break from partisan bickering. President Donald Trump has shattered that tradition with aggressive remarks that buoyed his allies but dismayed a wide spectrum of faith leaders. Rev. Tom Lambrecht, a leader in the United Methodist Church’s conservative wing said a  bipartisan prayer breakfast is the last place one would expect to find political attacks on opponents. However, Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said Trump’s remarks were justified. Trump questioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sincerity in saying she prays for him. And he took a swipe at Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for citing religious faith as the reason he voted to remove Trump from office.