WASHINGTON – Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes President Donald Trump was chosen by God to lead the country – and he handed the president a one-page description of morally flawed biblical kings as inspiration, he said.
“God’s used imperfect people all through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect,” Perry said in an interview on Fox News.
Trump caused a stir in August when he described himself in seemingly messianic terms. He looked to the sky while calling himself “the chosen one” to handle trade policy, and he quoted the words of a radio host who likened Trump to “the king of Israel” and “the second coming of God.”
Perry said he told the president that this posturing, which some critics took as egotistical or even blasphemous, was correct.
“ ‘Mr. President ... you said you were the chosen one,’ ” Perry recalled saying in the Oval Office. “I said, ‘You were ... you are here in this time because God ordained you.’ ”
Perry said he believes Barack Obama was also ordained by God for the presidency.
It’s a common view among some evangelical Christians. Some of Trump’s loudest evangelical defenders, like Franklin Graham, often compare him to sinful but important biblical kings, especially King David – who wrote the beautiful Psalms and slayed Goliath, but also impregnated Bathsheba and then calculated to have her husband killed.
It’s a less common theme among political figures.
Perry went on to say that he believes Trump will not be removed from office. (“Oh, Lord, no. Not even close,” he replied when Fox’s Ed Henry asked him about the possibility that Republican senators might vote to remove the president.)
“He will muscle right on through this. He is an extraordinary individual,” Perry said. “We’ve got a mission here, and we’re going to get through it.”
The former Texas governor, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary for president, grew up in the mainline United Methodist denomination, a church with a more liberal stance on some theological questions. He and his wife were active in a United Methodist church for years, including teaching confirmation classes.
But in 2007, he joined a more conservative, evangelical church.