God wanted Donald Trump to become the US president, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The White House press secretary was speaking to Christian Broadcasting Network when she was asked for a “spiritual perspective” on the controversial presidency.
She said: “I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president.
“And that’s why he’s there, and I think he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about.”
White evangelicals are among Mr Trump’s most determined supporters – 81% of them voted for him over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The support surprised many, especially considering the Access Hollywood tape revealed shortly before the election, in which Mr Trump was heard saying he could grab women’s genitals with impunity.
According to a Washington Post/ABC News survey before the election, 44% of white evangelicals said Mr Trump had strong moral character, while 49% said he did not.
But their support of him makes more sense when the answers to the same question about Mrs Clinton are taken into account – just 18% thought she had strong moral character and 79% did not.
Some commentators also point to the conservative Republican view on abortion as a major factor.
Mr Trump may have publicly changed his mind a number of times on the issue but his vice-president Mike Pence signed one of the most restrictive laws against abortion while governor of Indiana.
Others say his crackdown on illegal immigrants, support of Israel and appointment of conservative Supreme Court judges also play a part.
During the 20-minute interview, Ms Sanders was also asked how Christians in Syria would be affected by the pulling out of US troops promised by Mr Trump.
She said: “Look, the president’s made clear that we support Christians, that we support the Kurds.
“He’s made that clear to Turkey, he’s made that clear publicly on a number of fronts, and just one of the reasons that the president has been tough on Iran is to make sure that people don’t feel threatened.
“We’re still going to have a presence in the region but as much as we can continue to totally and completely destroy ISIS, the president wants our troops out of Syria and he wants to be able to bring more of them back home.”
Mr Trump announced in December that he plans to withdraw US troops from Syria, raising concerns this could destabilise the region and embolden Islamic State, although the president has previously insisted the terrorist group is “not so dominant anymore”.
Ms Sanders also said her own faith gave her “a sense of calm” when in the press room.