‘Bigot’ pastor who once labeled Mormonism a cult shouldn’t give prayer at embassy event in Israel, Romney argues

FILE - In this July 1, 2017, file photo, Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Dallas Church Choir speaks as he introduces President Donald Trump during the Celebrate Freedom event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. A few of President Donald Trump’s leading evangelical supporters defended him after he questioned why the U.S. should accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries” in Africa. However, many other evangelicals condemned his remarks, citing their increasing devotion to fellow Christians overseas, along with the large numbers of immigrants in U.S. churches and their families. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Washington • Ahead of the United States placing its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, Utah Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney tweeted that he has concerns about one of the event’s headlining speakers, who has previously called Mormonism a cult.

Robert Jeffress, a Texas Baptist pastor who once said that a vote for Romney, then a GOP presidential candidate, was vote for Satan, is scheduled to speak at the event to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a controversial action in the eyes of foreign policy excerpts that they say may ignite further concerns with neighboring Arab countries.

Jeffress also once said that “the dark dirty secret of Islam … [is] it is a religion that promotes pedophilia,” and that Islam is “a heresy from the pit of hell.”

Jeffress says, Romney tweeted, ”you can’t be saved by being a Jew,′ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam.”

Romney, a Mormon who gave a speech in 2007 attempting to explain why religion shouldn’t be a part of who Americans vote for, added: “Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.”

Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, the Democratic candidate seeking the Senate seat in Utah, echoed the concerns of her Republican opponent.

”The Trump administration,“ she said, “should not provide a platform for someone with a record of hateful speech and bigotry.”