Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com | Inset: Adobe Stock

Donald Trump has been in court this week for alleged hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. He was also facing financial concerns, as he was due to pay $464 million Monday, but a last-minute appellate court decision lowered that to $175 million due in 10 days in a separate case. While at the hearing over the hush money, Trump posted a note he’d received from a supporter on his Truth Social account. “It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you. But have you seen this verse?” asked the note, with a reference to Psalm 109:3-8. The passage refers to one whose enemies “fought against me without a cause.” The fan informed Trump “I’m praying this over you daily. So many praying for you. Thank you again for taking the arrows intended for us. We love you.” Trump called the note “beautiful” and thanked his supporter.

The post proved ripe fodder for the former president’s critics, who accused Trump of a Messiah complex. “Whether he has an actually messiah complex or is just conning his supporters, he’s playing to a growing GOP faction that wants America to be white Christian Nationalist state, with Donald Trump as a divine ruler,” wrote Robert Reich, who worked for the Clinton administration. The Biden campaign blasted Trump as “weak and desperate.” “He spent the weekend golfing, the morning comparing himself to Jesus, and the afternoon lying about having money he definitely doesn’t have,” the campaign asserted. They called his agenda “dangerous” and stated that he was pushing moderate voters away. “America deserves better than a feeble, confused, and tired Donald Trump,” the campaign concluded.

Others accused Trump of wishing the last lines of the passage, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office,” against President Biden, although Trump made no specific reference to Biden in the post. Trump has often portrayed his legal troubles as “persecution,” as he battles several legal allegations while continuing to campaign for the 2024 election. Last year when Trump was facing hearings during Holy Week, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia stated Trump was being persecuted by the government. “Jesus was arrested and murdered by the Roman government. There have been many people throughout history that have been arrested and persecuted by radical corrupt governments, and it’s beginning today in New York City,” she said at the time. How Trump’s legal battles will affect the 2024 election continue to be a source of concern for his supporters, with many speculating the Biden administration will try to keep the former president off the ballot. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned Colorado’s attempts to keep Trump off the ballot, removing some of the concern. However,  Trump currently faces 91 criminal charges in four criminal cases, which could mean he would be facing court hearings even after being elected president if he wins in November. Those charges also add up to big financial costs, which could also affect Trump’s ability to campaign.

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