Pastor stands by Trump after vulgarity

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: U.S. President Donald Trump receives applause from members of the African American community after signing a proclamation to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. day, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, on January 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. Monday January 16 is a federal holiday to honor Dr. King and his legacy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent evangelical supporter of President Donald Trump’s is standing by him after Trump used a vulgarity to describe African countries.

The Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas says that, apart from the reported choice of words, “Trump is right on target in his policy.”

Jeffress says Trump has a constitutional responsibility as commander in chief to protect the U.S. “above the needs of other countries.” Jeffress says Trump has courage and deserved gratitude for his leadership.

Jeffress sent out the statement as many evangelical leaders condemned the remarks as offensive and racist.

People briefed on the Oval Office conversation on immigration reform Thursday said Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and what he called ‘sh**hole countries” in Africa.