Many Christians beginning to doubt Trump, even if evangelical leaders don't

(REUTERS / Chris Keane)Franklin Graham speaks during the funeral for Ruth Bell Graham in Anderson Auditorium on the campus of the Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina June 16, 2007.

In a 'letter to the editor' published by The Washington Post, Jim Abernathy believes that "It seems that the very issue that endears President Trump to evangelical Christian leaders proves ultimately to be a failure on their part to understand the teachings of Jesus.

"Jesus did not hide the challenges his followers would face, nor did he encourage them to seek the protection of those who governed.

"He told them they would face great persecution because of him, that in this world they would have trouble.

"It would appear these evangelical Christian leaders have embraced Mr. Trump's version of Christian values in an effort to preserve their perceived status and influence."

Jim Abernathy, of course, is referring to how Evangelist Franklin Graham responded to allegations that Pres. Donald Trump had paid off a porn star $130,000 to keep quite about an affair during the election season.

In an MSNBC "Live" segment with Alex Witt, Franklin Graham was asked if Pres. Trump had a 'sin problem,' then referring to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Graham, who is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said:

"He is not president perfect,

"President Trump I don't think has admitted to having an affair with this person. And so this is just a news story, and I don't even know if it's accurate.

"At 70 years of age, the president is a much different person today than he was four years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, or whatever and we just have to give the man the benefit of the doubt."

Graham was then asked again about Pres. Trump referring to countries like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as s***hole countries.

Graham responded once again with a similar "He said he didn't say it, so I have to go along with the president in that he didn't say it."

Graham further reiterated that he has asked for forgiveness and so has Pres. Trump.

"God has forgiven me and I've asked for his forgiveness, and I think the president has, too," Graham said.

"We certainly don't hold him up as the pastor of this nation and he is not. But I appreciate the fact that the president does have a concern for Christian values, he does have a concern to protect Christians whether its here at home or around the world and I appreciate the fact that he protects religious liberty and freedom."

The uneasy alliance between evangelicals and Pres. Trump has led to much speculation. Many have said that it had been brought on by convenience only and would have been abandoned after Inauguration Day.