WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who has attacked many news organizations during his career in politics, found a new target Friday: Christianity Today, the faith-focused magazine founded by the iconic evangelical preacher Billy Graham.
Trump lashed out at the publication, calling it a "far left magazine" on Twitter the day after Christianity Today posted an editorial calling for him to be removed from office. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and faces possible removal in a Senate trial next year.
"Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President," Trump said.
In an editorial posted on Thursday, Christianity Today said the House was justified in approving impeachment articles over allegations Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating political opponent Joe Biden.
"The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents," the magazine said. "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral."
A far left magazine, or very “progressive,” as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather.....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
Christianity Today called on the Senate to convict Trump and remove him from office, calling it "not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments."
The Republican-run Senate is expected to acquit Trump in the trial.
In his harangue against Christianity Today, Trump said "no President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close."
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won 80% of the votes from whites who declared themselves born-again or evangelical Christians, according to exit polling.
While Billy Graham died in 2018, the magazine says it is still guided by his spirit. In its editorial calling for Trump's removal, Christianity Today said that "we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear – always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love."
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and a Trump supporter, tweeted that his father "knew @realDonaldTrump, believed in him & voted for him. He believed Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation."
Other news organizations editorial boards have called for Trump's conviction and removal, and been subject to presidential blowback – including USA TODAY.
On social media, critics of Trump noted that Christianity Today is a conservative publication and mocked the president for his criticism.
"No one would call Christianity Today 'progressive' but you. Sad!" tweeted Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump attacks Billy Graham's Christianity Today after editorial