The Atlantic

Mike Huckabee and the Rise of Christian Media Under Trump

The former Arkansas governor has a new television show on Trinity Broadcasting Network, and a powerful first guest.

Source: Mike Segar / Reuters

Mike Huckabee’s got a new gig. The former Arkansas governor will kick off a new show on Trinity Broadcasting Network in October, featuring music, faith, and some good old-fashioned politics. He’ll have an auspicious first guest: Donald Trump.

This planned appearance makes perfect sense in the Trump world of power and influence. The president reportedly thrives on television, but his own appearances have been more tailored to reach a core audience: white Christians. He has appeared on a number of Christian shows, doing interviews with Raymond Arroyo of the Catholic network EWTN and the Christian Broadcasting Network titan Pat Robertson.

Huckabee, an early Trump supporter and frequent surrogate for the administration on Fox News, represents a very specific segment of evangelicals: those who are predominantly white, fairly conservative, and actual fans of the president. Like other religious leaders, he claims to speak for his entire religious community, when in fact evangelical Christians are extremely divided over this political moment. In an interview, I asked him whether he was concerned about fellow Christians who feel alienated by Trump, and whether he takes seriously criticism from leaders like William Barber, who has accused Trump-supporting Christians of “theological malpractice that borders on a form of heresy.”

“I totally don’t,” Huckabee said.

I have edited our conversation below for clarity and length—but not by much. Huckabee tossed off conservative talking points about Trump’s job-creation record and Obama’s “almost vicious” attitude toward Israel—claims that elide nuance. Ultimately, his comments offer a look at how some Trump-supporting Christians think about the president. “To me, character is if you’re the same in public as you are in private,” Huckabee told me. “I think that in many ways, that’s what’s appealing about [Trump].”


You have made a bit of a migration. Your new show is on Trinity Broadcasting Network, which is a Christian television network,

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