Donald Trump told a group of evangelical leaders Tuesday it's hard to tell where Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival for the White House, stands on issues of faith.
"We don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion," Trump told the group, according The Hill, which first broke the story.
"Now, she's been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there's nothing out there. There's like nothing out there."
Trump warned that a Clinton presidency is "going to be an extension of Obama but it's going to be worse, because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don't and it's going to be worse."
Trump in recent days has come under fire from critics
who say he accused President Barack Obama of being a closet Muslim for not taking a stronger stance against Islamic terrorism, especially after last week's attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead.
"I happen to think that he just doesn't know what he's doing. But there are many people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it. He doesn't want to see what's really happening," Trump told the "Today" show at the time.
Though Obama identifies as a Christian, his faith has been questioned by many in the conservative Christian movement. Pat Boone recently told Newsmax TV
that Obama acts more Muslim than Christian.
Clinton is a lifelong Methodist,
and her daughter, Chelsea, lamented earlier this year that her mother is not recognized for her Christian faith.
Trump also suggested at Tuesday's meeting that Christians should not pray for all the country's leaders since some of them do not support evangelicals.
"People were saying, some of the people were saying, 'Let's pray for our leaders,'" Trump said. "I said, 'Well, you can pray for your leaders' — and I agree with that, pray for everyone — but what you really have to do is pray to get everybody out to vote for one specific person."
He added: "And we can't be, again, politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders, because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes. And it's a very, very, very, very bad thing that's happening."
Though the event was closed to the press, attendee E.W. Webb posted video online.
Jackson told The Associated Press that Trump had been talking about the idea that conservatives are constantly scrutinized over their religion, how devout they are and their positions on social issues.
"He was saying in the context that liberals and the Democrats don't get those kinds of questions, they don't get their faith examined in that way," he said.
"He wasn't questioning her Christianity, but he was questioning the implications of her faith, compared to how conservatives tend to have their faith examined."
Clinton grew up in the Methodist church, attending church youth group and teaching Sunday school like her mother. While she doesn't often talk about her faith on the campaign trail, she occasionally quotes biblical verses and mentions her experiences in church.
"I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist," she told voters in Iowa in January.
Trump has sometimes struggled to discuss religious issues. He has declined to cite his favorite biblical verse and toting around a photo from his confirmation as evidence of his Christian upbringing.
But in another video clip from Tuesday's event, Trump talked about the meaning of faith in his life.
"Christianity, I owe so much to it in so many ways, though life, through having incredible children, through so many other things," he said, noting his great support from religious voters in GOP primaries.
"The evangelical vote was mostly gotten by me," he said.
Trump also talked in another clip about the lack of "spirit" in inner cities.
"We've got to spiritize this country. And I'm not only talking about the inner cities. I'm talking about everywhere," he said.
Trump's campaign on Tuesday also announced the formation of a new "Evangelical Executive Advisory Board" that will advise the candidate "on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of faith in America," according to a release.
Members of the new group include former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and Faith and Freedom Coalition leader Ralph Reed.
Jackson, the bishop who posted video to Twitter, said that he'd walked into the meeting as more of an anti-Clinton voter than pro-Trump one, but said the meeting had changed his view.
"The thing I've heard most people say is, 'He moved the needle,'" he said. "People who came in with reservations, they have fewer reservations. Others left thinking, 'Maybe I need to take a look at him again.'"
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