Evangelist Franklin Graham clarified that he did not endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Graham told The Christian Post on Wednesday that, contrary to reports, he did not mention Trump or presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during his remarks and prayer on Tuesday during the meeting between Trump and more than 900 Christian and conservative leaders. His mention of biblical leaders like Moses, David and Abraham was also misconstrued as him making a comparison between them and Trump; he was, however, only pointing out that no one is perfect.
"All of this to say, there is none of us is perfect," he said during the meeting, as shown in a transcript posted on Yahoo! "We're all guilty of sin. Franklin Graham stands here in front of you today as a sinner. But I've been forgiven by God's grace. He forgave me. I invited Christ to come into my heart and my life. He forgave me. There's no perfect person â€” there's only one, and that's the Lord Jesus Christ. And he's not running for president of the United States. This year."
The confusion seems to have stemmed from a comment made by Bishop E.W. Jackson of Virginia during a conference call. Graham, he reportedly said, implied that Trump provides more "hope" than Clinton. Jackson also told The Christian Post that Graham did not endorse Trump but indicated that "Trump is a better alternative." The bishop made further clarification with the publication on Thursday.
"Part of it was he showed up at an event that was a 'conversation with Donald Trump,'" Jackson said. "That's part of it, but the context itself when he was talking about understanding that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. I don't think he was there considering Hillary Clinton."
He also explained that while Graham did not explicitly tell people to vote for Trump, he had the notion that the evangelist was putting across a message along the lines of "Do not allow your assessment of Donald Trump's Christianity from stopping you from considering him seriously."
"You take his remarks are not directed toward Hillary Clinton but rather toward Donald Trump in considering him as a candidate," Jackson said.
Graham told Fox News that he was glad to have heard Trump speak, but again stated that he's not supporting or endorsing anyone in this year's election.