On Tuesday, Ben Carson led the Trump cabinet in prayer.
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development thanked God “for a President and for cabinet members who are courageous, who are willing to face the winds of controversy in order to provide a better future for those who come behind us.”
Carson also thanked God for “the unity in Congress” that helped them get to a point that the Republican tax bill looks poised to pass. This is particularly telling, since a lack of unity in the Republican party prevented other measures, like an Obamacare repeal, from passing earlier in the year.
“We hope that that unity will spread even beyond party lines so that people recognize that we have a nation that is worth saving and recognize that nations divided against themselves cannot stand,” Carson prayed.
What’s more, Carson prayed for the leaders of the nation. Specifically, he prayed for “a spirit of gratitude, compassion and common sense” and “the wisdom to be able to guide this great nation.”
“You need the prayer more than I do”
President Donald Trump invited members of the press to stay for the prayer. His reasoning? “You need the prayer more than I do, I think.”
“Maybe a good solid prayer and they’ll be honest, Ben, is that possible?” Trump joked.
It was yet another swipe at the media, with whom Trump has never had a good relationship. He has repeatedly claimed “fake news” when reports paint him negatively and even suggested that the media is the enemy of the American people.
But using a prayer to take a swipe at members of the media seems crass, though not surprising.
In all, it was a strange moment, especially fo a cabinet meeting. We’ll add it to the list of unusual things we’ve seen this administration do since coming to power.