Detroit pastor to help swear in Trump as president
Detroit Pastor Wayne T. Jackson is among the religious leaders expected to participate in a swearing-in ceremony next month for Republican President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump’s presidential inaugural committee announced on Wednesday the participants.
Jackson, pastor of Great Faith Ministries International church, made waves when he interviewed Trump in Detroit on Sept. 3 as the New York businessman attempted to woo African-American voters and soften his image in the black community.
Other faith leaders expected at the swearing-in ceremony include the Rev. Franklin Graham of The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
“Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” inaugural committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement.
“I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”
Trump’s inauguration is set for Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. A National Prayer Service is scheduled for the following day at the Washington National Cathedral.
Jackson faced criticism from some local black leaders before his interview with Trump, but he followed through on his promise to ask the New York businessman if he was racist. Trump was accused of stoking racial tensions on the campaign trail and was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for housing discrimination in the 1970s.
“They called Romney a racist, they called McCain a racist, they call everybody that’s a Republican a racist,” Trump said in the interview, which aired on the Impact Network owned and operated by Jackson. “Usually when they start to lose. ... But I am the least racist person that you’ve ever met.”
The Detroit News was unable to contact Jackson on Wednesday to confirm his plans for the swearing-in ceremony. A message on his church voicemail said the offices were closed for the recent Christmas holiday.