The "Morning Joe" roundtable had a heated confrontation with Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of televangelist Billy Graham, for questioning whether President Obama is a Christian on Tuesday's show.
Graham has come under fire for controversial statements about Obama's faith before. On Monday, he was responding to a recent comment by Rick Santorum that initially appeared to criticize the President's religious beliefs. Graham refused to definitively say that President Obama is a Christian.
When asked if he believed that he was, Graham said that people would "need to ask President Obama" to get an answer. "He has said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is," Graham said.
He defined a Christian as someone who puts "faith and trust in Jesus Christ," and contrasted that with what he claimed was Obama's arrival at Christianity. He said that Obama joined a church after the Chicago neighborhood where he was a community organizer asked him to.
When co-host Willie Geist pressed him to say whether he believed Obama was a Christian, Graham maintained that he "cannot answer that question for anybody."
However, his answer on Rick Santorum's Christianity was a resounding yes. "His values are so clear on moral issues," he said. "No question, I believe he is a man of faith."
Contributor John Heilemann took issue with this. "That is an amazing double standard you just applied," he alleged.
"You have to look at what a person does with his life," Graham defended.
He also would not say whether he believed Romney is a Christian. "Most Christians would not recognize Mormonism as part of the Christian faith," he said. He noted that Gingrich has been married several times, but that he believed that he was a Christian.
Geist questioned this. "So Newt Gingrich is a Christian, but you're not sure that President Obama is. And you said based on the way they lived their lives." Someone off-screen could be heard saying, "Wow."
"All I know is under Obama... the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians murdered in the Muslim world," Graham responded.
More:Franklin Graham Morning Joe Franklin Graham Obama Obama Franklin Graham Morning Joe Franklin Graham
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more