Donald Trump looks to religious liberty issues

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Campaign 2016" segment tonight. Earlier today, Donald Trump held a closed meeting here in New York City with about 30 religious leaders mainly Protestant and Catholic who had a chance to question him.

With us now here in the studio, Pastor Robert Jeffress who emceed that meeting. First of all, why no press?

PASTOR ROBERT JEFFRESS, SENIOR PASTOR, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF DALLAS: Well, the Trump campaign didn't want people coming feeling like they were poster children for the campaign. They wanted them to be able to speak freely. So, I think it was the right decision.

O'REILLY: Okay. So, they didn't want to politicize the Q and A.

JEFFRESS: That's right.

O'REILLY: With the religious people. Were they all clerics?

JEFFRESS: It was acted -- Catholic and evangelicals.

O'REILLY: Pinheads?

JEFFRESS: Well, I was the emcee. I'm not going to put myself in that category.

O'REILLY: Okay. So, it was Theologians then.

JEFFRESS: It was Theologians but they were talking about Bill, something very practical. And that is their concern about diminishing of religious liberty due to the pursuit of the secular progressive agenda. They feel like it's being crammed down the American public's throat.

O'REILLY: Give me an example of how some questioners feel that religious freedom is being diminished.

JEFFRESS: I'll give you three examples. The Little Sisters of the Poor being sued by the federal government.

O'REILLY: Got it.

JEFFRESS: High school football coach being fired because he prays voluntarily before football game.


JEFFRESS: And then they talked about in Christian colleges, not secular. Christian colleges title nine telling you that you have to allow men who are confused about their gender into the women showers. Those are all examples where you have an out of control court system and federal government that is really diminishing.

O'REILLY: All right. Did all three of those examples come up?

JEFFRESS: Yes, every one of them and many more.

O'REILLY: And what did Trump say about them?

JEFFRESS: Look, Donald Trump believes the remedy for all of these problems is conservative Supreme Court justices most of these cases are ultimately going to deliberated in the court. And Donald Trump believes that we ought to have court justices who interpret the law using the constitution not political correctness.

O'REILLY: Okay. And people of faith have to be worried that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she will appoint another or two liberal judges and then it's all over. Then the secularism always overrides the religious.

JEFFRESS: That's exactly right.

O'REILLY: Right. So, therefore, some religious people are over -- are willing to overlook Donald Trump's personal profile.


O'REILLY: And I'm not casting aspersions of Mr. Trump. But he is not a very religious man. He is not a doctrinaire religious guy. Did that come up in the meeting today? Did the religious folks, the theologians question Trump about his personal lifestyle?

JEFFRESS: They didn't. But.

O'REILLY: No question?

JEFFRESS: No question came up with him present. But I went ahead and broached the subject in my closing remarks.

O'REILLY: What did you say?

JEFFRESS: And I said with him seated to my left. I said, look, I'm not going to choose Donald Trump, necessarily to be my child's 3rd grade Sunday school teacher. But that's not what this election is about. We are looking for somebody who can reverse the downward death spiral of this country. And Bill I said to them there is only one candidate running for office who is pro-life, pro-religious, pro-conservative justices on the Supreme Court. And only one candidate who speaks with respect when he talks about Christian values rather than contempt and disdain like Hillary Clinton. And that candidate is Donald Trump.

O'REILLY: All right. Did you get push back from any of the 30 in the meeting? Did somebody say, look, you know, we don't care because we don't feel he is fair to migrants? We don't feel he is this --

JEFFRESS: Okay. Honestly, after he left, I got a little push back. I had somebody say, I, you know, resent you being so absolute. Because I said to me, Bill, this is not a war between Republicans and Democrats. This is a battle between good and evil, right and wrong.


JEFFRESS: Righteousness and unrighteousness.

O'REILLY: Wow! You did a hell and brimstone in there. Good and evil.

JEFFRESS: That is right.

O'REILLY: So, you are saying that Trump is good and Hillary is evil.

JEFFRESS: I'm talking about the principles. We're talking about -- not the individuals.

O'REILLY: Not the individuals.

JEFFRESS: We are all sinners who need Jesus forgiveness. But I do believe there are absolute rights and absolute wrongs.

O'REILLY: All right. No Muslim clerics or?

JEFFRESS: This was Catholic and evangelicals. I do know his campaign has reached out to the Muslim community as well.

O'REILLY: Jewish people?

JEFFRESS: Not in this meeting but there have been other meetings where they have been in. In fact, a year ago I was up there in Trump Tower --

O'REILLY: Right.

JEFFRESS: -- and we had some Jewish folks there for that.

O'REILLY: All right. Final question, Trump needs the evangelical vote. Many of those people stayed home and didn't vote for Romney --

JEFFRESS: That's right.

O'REILLY: Because he was a Mormon.

JEFFRESS: That's right.

O'REILLY: That wasn't fair. Do you think they're going to come out, the evangelicals? Do you get an indication of that?

JEFFRESS: I believe they are, Bill.

O'REILLY: You want them to.

JEFFRESS: I want them to, but from what I'm sensing and I have talked to thousands of pastors over this last year. I really do believe they think this is the last opportunity to turn this country around.

O'REILLY: All right, Pastor, we appreciate it. Thank you very much for coming in.

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