Trump's spiritual adviser goes on Fox for a softball interview from “straight news” anchor Shannon Bream

Paula White-Cain is a proponent of the controversial “prosperity gospel”

Paula White Cain on Fox News At Night

Fox News’ Shannon Bream hosted Paula White-Cain, President Trump’s “longtime” spiritual adviser, for a softball interview after she was recently hired to an official position in the White House.

According to The New York Times, White-Cain (who also goes by Paula White) “will work in the Office of Public Liaison, ... which is the division of the White House overseeing outreach to groups and coalitions organizing key parts of the president’s base. Her role will be to advise the administration’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative, which Mr. Trump established last year by executive order.”

White-Cain, a televangelist based in Florida, has been Trump’s personal pastor and has previously said, “To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.”

She is a proponent of the so-called “prosperity gospel,” a fringe interpretation of the Bible which purports, among other things, that the money a follower gives to their church will be returned to them in multiples. According to a report from BuzzFeed News, this doctrine is “not part of mainstream evangelicalism.” Followers of prosperity gospel have faced dire consequences for believers who are simply seeking spiritual guidance but end up getting conned by televangelists.

Toward the end of the interview, Bream asked about this critique, while praising her guest as a “faith leader for a long time.”  In response, White-Cain gave a bizarre answer in which she objected to her belief being labeled “prosperity gospel,” claimed that she’s had to defend the existence of the Holy Trinity, said that “most of this is a political ploy just to hurt our president,” and concluded that she has “very solid biblical beliefs.” Bream never followed up.

One thing that didn’t come up in the interview was Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) 2007 investigation into alleged misappropriation of church funds by multiple televangelists, including White. (In 2011, the investigation was closed with no “definitive findings of wrongdoing” after some of the ministers targeted by the probe, including White and her then-husband, refused to cooperate.)

Video file

Citation From the November 4, 2019, edition of Fox News' Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream

SHANNON BREAM (HOST): Well, now, President Trump's longtime personal pastor is taking a new role inside the Trump administration, advising the Faith and Opportunity Initiative, working to keep the president’s strong evangelical base in 2020. But the announcement was not without controversy as some question her theology. So, joining me now to answer those critics, President Trump's newest White House adviser, Paula White-Cain, also the author of the brand-new book Something Greater. Paula, great to have you with us tonight.

PAULA WHITE-CAIN: It's great to be with you, Shannon, and with everyone.

BREAM: OK, so listen, the president has talked a lot about religious freedom. He's taken a lot of steps that he said to that end. And of course, his critics say, especially with the move last week dealing with LGBT issues and religious freedom and the intersection -- they say that what he's doing is legalizing discrimination but pinning it on religious liberty. How do you answer that?

BREAM: Well, there are those who, including Joshua Harris, famous pastor who's now left Christianity and says it's not how he chooses to identify himself anymore. But he's got this warning, he says evangelical support for President Trump, quote, “incredibly damaging to the gospel." He says, "I don't think it's going to end well." How do you respond?

WHITE-CAIN: You know, people are going to say some pretty ridiculous things all the time. I think this is ending very, very well as we see that evangelicals support President Trump at an all-time historical high. The base is stronger than ever. 

BREAM: Now, you like the president. You all have bonded, as you've talked about over the years, and there's some really interesting tidbits in your book as well. But both of you are used to coming under criticism. So, I want to read a little bit for you, which is obviously being revved up now that you're in this new position as well.

Jeremy Peters, writing this in The New York Times, says, "Among Christians, Ms. White is a divisive figure. Her association with the belief that God wants followers to find wealth and health commonly called prosperity gospel is highly unorthodox in the faith and considered heretical by many." I mean, you've been a faith leader for a long time. What do you make of that critique of you?

WHITE-CAIN: I've been in ministry for 35 years and I've heard just about everything said. First off, I do not believe that, in this -- what you would say, like, you give to get, and that is what they try to label it as prosperity. I believe that God's and his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. I've had to defend the trinity, of all things, that God the Father; God, the Son; God, the Holy Spirit. I think most of this is a political ploy just to hurt our president, to hurt the great faith agenda that he continues to advance. Anyone that's ever listened to my message knows very well, that I believe in very solid biblical beliefs. So, this is not anything new.

BREAM: Well, you all now continue your partnership. It goes into a new phase, and we will watch with the faith efforts, we know they're going to be key moving into 2020 as well. Paula White-Cain, thank you.

Bream is skilled in the art of softball interviews. She frequently uses her “straight news” show to host extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom and uncritically allows its members to push their regressive agenda. She has mirrored the group’s anti-trans rhetoric by serially misgendering trans people or referring to them by a gender other than that with which they identify. The same anything goes rules apply for guests when it comes spreading abortion misinformation.

Bream also recently offered disgraced Papa John’s pizza chain founder John Schnatter a safe space to stage his bid for a comeback into public life a year after he was ousted from the company for using racial slurs. And she also was the first stop for Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, after he got into hot water for saying the Statue of Liberty stands for immigrants “who will not become a public charge” and then linking the monument specifically to European immigrants. Her show’s history of allowing bad faith right-wing actors to sanitize their missteps and promote their harmful agendas exposes the emptiness of the network’s attempts to brand itself as a serious news organization.