…Buoyed by his support from deeply religious voters during the Republican primary, the thrice-married Trump has been meeting privately in Manhattan’s Trump Tower with top members of the evangelical community for months, peppering the conversations with fundraising appeals.
At one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.
“You see athletes do it all the time and it’s their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success,” said Pastor Mark Burns, CEO of a Christian television network based in South Carolina. “Trump does this all of the time, too. He’s giving reverence to the man upstairs.”
“Even with Mr. Trump’s billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God,” said Burns, who has become a top Trump surrogate and a staple on the campaign trail, frequently introducing the candidate at rallies. “We should all chip in to help him out. You know, even a billionaire needs some cash flow.”
“Preliminary discussions” are happening within evangelical circles to help Trump raise money—particularly in new age evangelical circles, where many of the leaders have become best-selling authors, top-selling Christian musicians and even minor-celebrities in their own right, Burns said.
And Trump is even beginning to make inroads with more traditional evangelical donors who backed religious conservative candidates who have now dropped out of the presidential race.
Foster Friess, the billionaire who supports Christian conservative causes, told Bloomberg Politics that he predicts conservatives will eventually rally behind Trump.