Trump compares himself to Jesus Christ – again

Donald Trump took to Truth Social to once again compare himself to Jesus Christ as he complained about the criminal and civil cases against him, which he views as politically motivated persecution.

On Monday, Mr Trump claimed that he received a message stating: “It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you.”

“Beautiful, thank you!” Mr Trump responded, seemingly moved by the message that his $464m fine for decades of financial fraud is on the same level as the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fine stems from a civil case in which New York State prosecuted Mr Trump for inflating the value of his assets to get better deals on loans and insurance.

Mr Trump’s Truth Social post came as he was in court for a hearing in the hush money case involving adult actor Stormy Daniels. Mr Trump faces dozens of counts of business fraud for allegedly filing a hush money payment as legal expenses after he directed his then-fixer Michael Cohen to pay Ms Daniels $130,000 to stay silent about an alleged 2006 affair during the final stretches of the 2016 campaign. Mr Trump has rejected all notions of wrongdoing and has been attempting to delay all the cases against him. The start of the hush money trial has now been set for 15 April.

The supposed sender of the message also included a verse saying, “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred – and fought against me without a cause – In return for my love they are my accusers ... let an accuser stand at his right hand – when he is judged – let him be found guilty – and let his prayer become sin – let his days be few – and let another take his office”.

It was unclear if Mr Trump believed that the last line was intended to refer to President Joe Biden, but the former president has repeatedly claimed that he’s being prosecuted because he’s standing in the way of the authorities going after his supporters.

The message Mr Trump shared said, “Thank you again for taking the arrows intended for us”.

The verse shared was Psalm 109, which members of the Christian right have been using as a rallying cry since at least the early days of the Obama presidency, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

“The verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: ‘Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow’,” the outlet noted in November 2009, less than a year into president Barack Obama’s time in office.

Deborah Lauter, the then-director of civil rights at the Anti-Defamation League, told The Monitor at the time that “the problem is you don’t know if people who are donning that message in a shirt or on a bumper sticker are fully aware of the quote or what follows. Obviously, that message makes the ambiguity disappear”.

“If they’re just referring to him being out of office, that’s one thing. If they’re referring to him being dead, that’s so offensive. It’s protected speech, but it’s clearly offensive,” she added.

Robert Reich, who served as Bill Clinton’s labour secretary, wrote on X that “Donald Trump is starting the week by comparing himself to Jesus. Whether he has an [actual] messiah complex or is just conning his supporters, he’s playing to a growing GOP faction that wants America to be [a] white Christian Nationalist state, with Donald Trump as a divine ruler”.

The Biden campaign also issued a statement slamming Mr Trump, calling him “weak and desperate both as a man and a candidate”.

“He spent the weekend golfing, the morning comparing himself to Jesus, and the afternoon lying about having money he definitely doesn't have,” the campaign said.

“America deserves better than a feeble, confused, and tired Donald Trump,” they added.

Mr Trump has compared himself to Jesus in the past, such as when he reposted an AI image last year showing a court sketch of Jesus sitting beside Mr Trump in a courtroom during one of his many legal proceedings.