Conservative leader Tony Perkins has accused the mainstream media of using President Donald Trump's alleged affair with a porn star as a means to "shame evangelicals for their political participation."
On Monday, Perkins told listeners of his radio program "Washington Watch" that he felt the need to address the criticism against evangelicals for their continuing support for Trump in light of the latest controversies.
He took the time on the program to respond to the comments made by evangelical columnist Michael Gerson, who had denounced evangelical leaders for their support of Trump in an essay published by The Atlantic.
In his essay, Gerson mentioned Perkin's past remark that Trump should be given a "mulligan" for his alleged affair. "One can only imagine the explosion of outrage if President Barack Obama had been credibly accused of similar offenses," Gerson wrote.
Gerson doubled down on his remarks when he participated in a discussion in CBS' "Face the Nation," in which he argued that the evangelical support for Trump, as well as support for defeated Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, represents the "height of hypocrisy."
Perkins, the president of the Washington-based social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council (FRC), reportedly told listeners that the "intensity" of media criticism for supporting Trump is increasing, but he said that it should be dismissed as an attempt to discredit evangelical voters.
"You are going to hear this repeatedly ... for the rest of his term [and] you are certainly going to hear it going into this midterm election," he said.
"This is designed to shame evangelicals. Of course, 'Face the Nation' is giving a platform to Gerson and any other Republican who will ... bash an element of the voting population that has been very instrumental in the president being successful in getting into office and maintaining and continuing his policy, his agenda," he continued.
Perkins contended that while evangelicals are receiving criticism from the political left for their support of Trump, the reality is that many of them were left with the tough choice of either voting for the business magnate or Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
He noted that he did not support Trump during the primaries and that he agreed with Gerson that the president was the most "unlikely champion" of evangelical values. But Perkins contended that Trump "wrapped himself in conservative values and the conservative party platform" when he faced Clinton in the election.
Perkins also explained during his radio program that none of the president's immoral behavior that is being brought up by the media happened during his presidency.
He told evangelicals that there is no reason to be ashamed of supporting Trump because he has kept his promises. He assured his listeners that the support for Trump would "evaporate quickly" if he were to engage in immoral behavior while in office.