Donald Trump said Saturday that "I am not sure that I have" ever asked God for forgiveness, telling the 2015 Iowa Family Leadership Summit that "I just go on and try to do a better job from there.
"I don't think so," Trump, who is Presbyterian, said in response to the question from pollster and summit host Frank Luntz. Trump was among 10 Republican presidential candidates at the daylong event in Ames, Iowa.
"If I do something wrong, I think I just try to make it right," Trump said. "I don't bring God into that picture. I don't.
"When we go into church — and when I drink my little wine, which is about the only wine I drink, and have my little cracker — I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness. I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, OK?
"But, to me, that is important," Trump said. "In terms of officially, I could tell you absolutely. I don't think in terms of that. I think in terms of, 'Let's go on and let's make it right.'"
When Luntz first asked the question, Trump said that he was Presbyterian and that his pastor was the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, the author and longtime pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. He died in 1993 at 95 years old.
"That's a tough question," is how Trump began his initial response. "I am a religious person. I'm Protestant. I'm Presbyterian. People are so shocked and they find this out.
"I go to church. I love God — and I love my church," he added. "The great Norman Vincent Peale was my pastor. He was so great. He would give a sermon, and you'd never want to leave."
Luntz then pressed him on the forgiveness issue, which brought chuckles from some members of the audience.
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