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The Politico Inaccurately Reports Donald Trump “Did Not Highlight Action on Religious Freedom”

By  |  February 4, 2017, 12:49pm  |  @ewerickson

This is a very interesting report from the Politico about Donald Trump keeping in place an Obama era executive order that Trump had promised to repeal. Now, it would seem, he might carve out an exception to it for sectarian organizations. But otherwise this is a broken promise.

Nonetheless, the Politico engages in a bit of fiction at the end of the piece written by Annie Karni. This is included:

“This president’s No. 1 priority is demonstrating to the people that got him elected that he is doing the people’s business,” said [James] Carafano, who’s organization backs a religious freedom executive order.

But Carafano noted that it makes most sense for the administration to churn out executive orders that are in line with Trump’s campaign promises. Trump, the first Republican nominee to feature an openly gay speaker at his convention, did not highlight action on religious freedom . “For them to put out an executive order that didn’t try and match up with the priorities that he campaigned on would be an unforced error,” said Carafano.

Note that this is not a quote from James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, but an insert by the reporter. It is also very much not true.

In both Donald Trump’s convention acceptance speech and on the campaign trail he highlighted religious liberty issues. The Daily Signal has a pretty comprehensive list, including this quote from his acceptance speech in Cleveland:

[The Johnson Amendment], pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans.

To say he “did not highlight action on religious freedom” at either the Republican Convention or on the campaign trail is completely inaccurate.