Trump's Pastor Paula White 'Wrong' to Hawk Religious Products While Working for the White House, Says Ex-Obama Adviser

A former White House adviser on faith affairs accused Paula White, the controversial pastor appointed to lead President Donald Trump's new faith office, of trying to profit financially from the role.

The Trump administration recently revealed that White, the current president's spiritual adviser and a wealthy televangelist preacher of the prosperity gospel, will head the Faith and Opportunity Initiative at the White House, founded by executive order last year.

White, who headed Trump's evangelical advisory committee, caught attention in 2018 when she told people to donate their first paycheck of the year to her ministries as a "first fruit" offering or face God's wrath.

Last week, White, whose church is based in Florida, suggested during a prayer for Trump that opponents of the president "operate in sorcery and witchcraft." suggested during a prayer for Trump that opponents of the president "operate in sorcery and witchcraft."

According to CNN, a White House spokesman said White, who is also known by her married name White-Cain, is a part-time special government employee and "permitted to maintain separate employment" to her official role.

"White continues to hawk religion-themed items, including items she promises will reward buyers spiritually and materially. This is simply wrong," tweeted Melissa Rogers, an expert on religion in public life who served as executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships under former President Barack Obama.

"No matter what formal ethics rules say, or how they are interpreted by this White House, it is simply wrong for the White House advisor to the 'Faith and Opportunity Initiative' to do these things," continued Rogers, who is now a visiting professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank.

"No White House employee who works with religious communities should be able to push and profit from the sale of religion-themed products while they serve. White House appointees must not use their public office for private gain, nor appear to do so."

White did not respond immediately to Newsweek's request for comment.

Amid criticism of her beliefs, which some Christians regard as heretical because of its focus on financial wealth, White-Cain claimed the attacks were designed to damage Trump.

"I've been in ministry for 35 years and I've heard just about everything said," White-Cain told Fox News last week.

"I think most of this is a political ploy just to hurt our president, to hurt the great faith agenda that he continues to advance. Anyone that's ever listened to my message knows very well, that I believe in very solid biblical beliefs. So, this is not anything new."

Trump pastor Paula White Cain ministries
Pastor Paula White-Cain speaks on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC at the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Trump's Pastor Paula White 'Wrong' to Hawk Religious Products While Working for the White House, Says Ex-Obama Adviser | Politics