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Trump Wants To Legalize Political Endorsements From Religious Organizations


Donald Trump (EWTN screen grab) Donald Trump has added a new piece of proposed legislation to his presidential platform.. On Thursday night, EWTN News, a branch of the Catholic-oriented Eternal World Television Network cable channel, is airing an interview with the Republican candidate, during which he revealed that if elected, he would repeal the Johnson Amendment. Named for President Lyndon Baines Johnson because he introduced it as a senator in 1954, this is the piece of tax code that prohibits churches and other organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exemptions from endorsing (or opposing) political candidates.

According to Trump, he went to various religious leaders to ask for endorsements, only to find out that they couldn’t. “And I said, ‘Why is that?’ And they told me about the Johnson Amendment 1954,” he told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo. “And, I thought about it for a month. And we had a meeting again. Fifty-six different pastors, ministers, etc., and I said ‘We’re going to get rid of the Johnson Amendment because our pastors and ministers should have the right to go out and speak their minds.’”

Also in the interview, as shown in the above clip, Arroyo asked if Trump actually believes that the electoral process of the election is rigged, as opposed to just calling out media bias. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama made similar comments during his first campaign in 2008, likely referring to this video that’s been floating around right-leaning websites over the past week or so:

While Obama did use the terms “rigged,” “stolen,” and “vote fraud,” his comments in the video refer to voter suppression and concerns about some computerized voting machines lacking a paper trail. Trump’s comments about “rigging” as of late have been about in-person, individual voter impersonation, which studies have shown is incredibly rare.

[Photo: EWTN screen grab]

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David Bixenspan is a writer, editor, and podcaster based in New York.