Trump confronted ‘devout’ religious Democrat on abortion at Prayer Breakfast: report
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In addition to reaffirming the right to life at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump reportedly confronted a Democrat lawmaker in attendance over his party’s pro-abortion stance, though accounts differ as to the severity of their exchange.
Last Thursday, the president declared at the annual event that a “just and loving society” needs to “build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life,” and recognize that “all children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.” His words echoed his State of the Union remarks excoriating lawmakers in New York and Virginia who recently backed abortion up to, and in some cases after, birth.
Politico reports that according to three sources, Trump “leaned in close” to Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and challenged him to speak out against radical pro-abortion legislation members of his party have pushed in multiple states. Coons described himself as a “practicing Christian and a devout Presbyterian,” and was one of the breakfast’s co-chairs along with Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
“He was in his face about it and “worked up,” one source said. “He saw a Democrat in the room, a Democrat who’s known to be a person of faith, and he was like, ‘Why aren't you speaking out about this?’” Another told Politico the exchange was “awkward.”
Politico reporter Gabby Orr added on Twitter that Trump “yelled” in Coons’ face for ten minutes, which Lankford disputed. Trump did not display hostility to Coons, Lankford said, but “simply asked a question to understand [his] perspective.”
I was in that dinner-POTUS did not “lace into Coons” he was not “in his face” and POTUS was not “worked up.” There was a conversation about abortion but POTUS simply asked a question to understand Sen Coons perspective- @ChrisCoons shared his thoughts and so @realDonaldTrump— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) February 14, 2019
Coons himself declined to comment for Politico’s story, and following the breakfast tweeted only an explanation for why he prayed for the president despite their political differences:
In front of thousands of people at the event and many more watching at home, I prayed that God would grant President Trump wisdom, grace, and peace— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) February 7, 2019
And sometimes, even when it's difficult, it means joining hands in prayer or reflection to remind ourselves that as public servants, we share the same obligations to do what's best for the country we all love.— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) February 7, 2019
Whatever tone their conversation took, the conflict between Coons’ professed faith and abortion remains an open question.
He was previously an ordained elder in West Presbyterian Church and “continues to preach occasionally at houses of worship across Delaware,” according to his official bio. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church USA denomination, which teaches that the “considered decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy can be a morally acceptable...decision,” and an issue which “may manifest itself in ways that...do not fit neatly into medical, legal or policy guidelines.”
Coons holds consistent 100% pro-abortion ratings from Planned Parenthood for his positions and votes in Congress, with NARAL docking him only for a 2017 vote to confirm Scott Gottlieb as Trump’s commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.