Rev. Franklin Graham (Screenshot: FNC)
Commenting on the GOP debate last week, evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham said he watched the presentation and, as far as billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump was concerned, the reverend said he thinks a lot of people agreed "with some of the things" that Trump said, and added that the successful businessman was "no dummy," is "not a politcian," and "says what he thinks."
Franklin Graham also disclosed that he has met and spoken with Donald Trump. In 2013, at a 95th birthday celebration for Pastor Billy Graham in Asheville, N.C., Trump, his wife Melania Trump, Sarah Palin, and former Vice President Al Gore were seated at Billy Graham's table.
Concerning Trump, "I've met him and talked to him," said Rev. Franklin Graham in an Aug. 7 interview with reporter Greg Garrison at AL.com, the blog for the Alabama Media Group.
"I think everybody who watched last night couldn't help but agree with some of the things he said," continued Rev. Graham.
"He's not a politician," Graham said. "He says what he thinks. He's no dummy. He's worth a lot of money."
"Whether he'll see this all the way through, who knows?" said Rev. Graham. "He's a very smart man."
In his remarks to AL.com, Rev. Graham said he would not endorse any candidates and that over the years he had "been disappointed in politicians, very disappointed in the Democratic Party, very disappointed in the Republican Party."
Donald Trump, left, Melania Trump, and Pastor Billy Graham at the latter's
95th birthday celebration in Asheville, N.C., Nov. 7, 2013.
(Photo: Asheville News/Twitter.)
"I think Americans across the board are fed up with the shenanigans that go on, politicians who go to Washington to benefit themselves, who promise one thing and deliver another," said Rev. Graham. "Americans are ready for a change."
Asked about the health of his 96-year-old father, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham said, “I was with my father this morning, telling him I was going to Birmingham. He was there in 1964. He remembered being there. He didn't remember what year. He's 97 (turning 97 on Nov. 7)."
"It's hard for him to remember," said Franklin Graham. "He doesn't hear well, he doesn't see well. His mind is still pretty sharp. He's just old. He's just happy to get up in the morning."
"He realizes his ministry now is praying for people, praying for people including myself going to Birmingham," said the younger Graham. "He would love to come to Birmingham. I'm looking forward to it."
Among the guests who celebrated Pastor Billy Graham's 95th
birthday on Nov. 7, 2013, were News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch (seated
right), Tood and Sarah Palin (standing back right), Fox's Greta Van Susteren
(middle row, center), and Donald and Melania Trump (back row).
(Photo: Twitter/Asheville News.)
Franklin Graham, 62, is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and he also runs the international Christian relief group Samaritan's Purse. He is married and has five children. Franklin Graham regularly preaches in the United States and overseas.
His father, Billy Graham, is considered the most influential evangelical preacher of the last 70 years. Over the decades, Billy Graham's preaching reached a total estiamted audience of 2.2 billion people. He is consistently ranked by Gallup as one of the most admired men in the world.