A press release distributed Monday morning declared, “President Donald Trump Beats Back Media Hysteria After Woodward Tapes, Declares of COVID, ‘We’re Rounding the Final Turn.’” The press release did not come from the White House or the Republican Party but from a public relations firm representing the Florida-based Charisma Media.
Charisma, an influential Pentecostal-oriented media company, has functioned as a virtual member of President Donald Trump’s public relations team since before the 2016 election. CEO Stephen Strang has published multiple books about God and Trump and used Charisma’s podcast network, magazines and publishing house to promote the voices of other religious-right leaders who declare Trump to be God’s anointed. Charisma magazine has more than 225,000 followers on Facebook.
Monday’s press release decried “hysteria from the liberal media” and asserted that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, “Trump has kept the nation informed, reaching out to the American public with updates on a daily basis.”
The release goes on to quote Strang saying that Trump always “displays true leadership, authority, strength and experience.”
Trump “possesses an undeniable faith in America, and a big reason for that is his own lifelong faith in God,” Strang is quoted saying in the press release. “This election is so important for Christians and for people of all faiths. He is a champion for our belief in God and for returning us to the foundation of our freedoms in this country.”
Strang also asserts absurdly that a Biden-Harris administration “would stand for the removal of God from the public square and the erasure of our faith history.”
Strang is among the large number of religious-right leaders taking part in “The Return,” a Sept. 26 political prayer rally on the National Mall organized by Jonathan Cahn, whose best-selling End Times books are published by Frontline, a Charisma imprint for books about social issues.
Among Strang’s Trump-promoting, Democrat-bashing claims was a charge he made in August that liberals “want to block effective treatments for COVID-19” because they “just don’t want to give the president a win.”
In February, Charisma published a column calling then-presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg “satanic,” citing scripture declaring that those who engage in homosexual behavior are “deserving of death,” and claiming that Americans’ acceptance of Buttigieg and his husband represented “the death rattle of a nation.”
In 2014, Charisma published a column that called for violence against Muslims and asked, “how many more dead bodies will have to pile up at home and abroad before we crush the vicious seed of Ishmael in Jesus’ Name?” Charisma pulled the column after an outcry from Christians and non-Christians alike.