President Donald Trump is a “changed person” amid recent reports of an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, said the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
“These alleged affairs, they’re alleged with Trump, didn’t happen while he was in office,” Franklin Graham told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight” on Tuesday.
Graham’s remarks come after a Wall Street Journal report that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, formed a private LLC to pay a former porn star in exchange for not speaking publicly about an alleged sexual encounter with the then-candidate. CNN has not independently confirmed The Wall Street Journal’s reporting, and in response to the initial Wall Street Journal report about the affair, Cohen said the rumors had circulated since 2011 and that Trump “once again vehemently denies any such occurrence.”
Lemon questioned why “evangelicals were so willing to call out, say Bill Clinton’s behavior but not President Trump’s?”
Graham argued that there’s a difference between Clinton’s extramarital affair and Trump’s “alleged affairs.”
“This happened 11, 12, 13, 14 years ago,” he said. “And so, I think there is a big difference and not that we give anybody a pass, but we have to look at the timeline and that was before he was in office.”
Graham argued that the President has matured over the years. However, Lemon cited controversial tweets and recent reports of Trump’s derogatory remarks regarding some nations in Africa.
“There is a lot of presidents that have had rough language and a lot of these things that have been accused of the President, I am not sure are true,” Graham said. “He says he didn’t do it. And the others that said he didn’t do it.”
In his continued defense of Trump, Graham said the President is a businessman, not a politician and “he talks a certain way” to get his point across. Graham pointed out that Trump has “offended” people, but asserted that God had put him in the White House for a reason.
“I believe Donald Trump is a good man,” he said. “He did everything wrong as a candidate and he won, and I don’t understand it. Other than I think God put him there.”
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.