Trump: ‘We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion’

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Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

NEW YORK – Donald Trump argued Tuesday that the American public knows very little about Hillary Clinton’s religion, raising questions about how it will impact her leadership should she become president.

“We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion,” he said, speaking to a group of Christian leaders in New York. “Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there. It’s 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 was addressing a small group of high-profile evangelicals ahead of speaking before a larger group of religious leaders at a gathering hosted by the Christian group, United in Purpose.

E.W. Jackson, who tweeted video of Trump’s remarks, said the comment came while Trump was trying to say that conservatives tend to get questioned more about their faith than liberals.

“I think everybody in there knows Hillary Clinton is a Methodist and by definition a Christian,” Jackson told CNN. “He was saying for those of us who are students of the Christian faith — for evangelicals that can mean everything is thoroughly examined, like what do you believe about marriage? What do you believe about abortion?”

Jackson, who ran as the 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia, said he was “accused of believing all kinds of crazy things” when he was a politician.

“All (Trump) was saying was she hasn’t had that same examination, so we don’t really know what she believes,” he added.

The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While it’s true Clinton doesn’t regularly talk about her faith, she has had a number of public interactions with people where they discussed her faith.

She also talked about her faith in an interview with CNN in January, saying, “My faith is a central part of who I am.”

“What I believe, why I’m called to service because I feel that I’ve had a lot of blessings in my life and a lot of others are not so fortunate,” she said. “And I’m grateful that I was both raised with a faith and that the faith has sustained me. I am very committed to what I believe is the discipline and the mandates that you should be responding to as a Christian and for me that has a lot to do with, you know, lifting up those who are the last, the lost and the least among us and trying to give more people a chance to chart a more positive for themselves. That’s what I’ve always cared about and that’s what I’ll do as president.”

By Ashley Killough, CNN

CNN’s Dan Merica contributed to this report.