Pastor Todd Coconato, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, believes the former president may return to the Oval Office, in part, because God is in control of America’s leadership.
Coconato, president of the Religious Liberties Coalition, regularly speaks out about the “stolen” election and has pushed people not to give up praying for change. During a now-deleted live stream posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Coconato acknowledged that Joe Biden was president, but said he believes Trump will serve another term.
“People say, ‘Well, you still think President Trump might become president again?'” Coconato said during Wednesday’s live stream. “I do, because I prayed about it, and I’ll tell you what God said to me was kind of shocking.”
Coconato prayed, he said, about whether Trump would ever return to the Oval Office, and God reminded him “he’s the one that chooses the leadership, not us.” God, he said, allows “certain things to happen, but he also responds to the prayers of the righteous.”
Since God told him Trump has the “mantle of leadership,” Coconato said on Wednesday’s live stream, Biden being in the White House is “confusing to saints.” He said people are questioning if he’s “really the president,” but since he’s “clearly” the president of the United States, he asked God if people are to “doubt” that.
“And God said, ‘It’s about the mantle, the mantle of anointing, which is on President Trump, not Biden,” Coconato said.
The pastor took a slightly less optimistic view of Trump’s return when speaking with Newsweek via email. He acknowledged Trump may become president if he runs again, but said it “really depends if he is feeling up” to making the bid for the White House.
Evangelicals propelled Trump to the White House in 2016, and he earned the label “the most pro-life president” in history during his time in office. Ahead of the 2020 election, some religious leaders believed Trump would win because it would be God’s will. In the wake of his loss, some backed off the prediction.
Others, such as Pastor Jeff Jansen, have swung the other way, spreading the belief that Trump will return to office before the next election. He told attendees of a “Reign” conference that Trump is “still president” and to prepare for a “shift” that the “whole world is going to witness.”
Jansen, who previously predicted the military would put Trump back in office by the end of April, told followers to “watch what the Lord does” by April 25 because people will be “dancing in the streets.”
Coconato made it abundantly clear to Newsweek that he does not believe Trump will return to the Oval Office before the next election, as it would be “extremely unlikely.”
“Only a very unprecedented situation could ever change anything when it comes to that area. We are very realistic and understand how the United States government works. We are not suggesting that is the case at this point,” Coconato said, adding he’s not “under the impression that the courts or any other area of our government will somehow change the current situation of who is in control of the United States.”
Trump hasn’t commented firmly on whether he’ll mount a challenge against Biden in 2024. He gave his strongest teaser in an interview that aired Monday night, telling Fox News‘ Sean Hannity he was “very seriously” considering a bid for the White House if Republicans could “get the right people” in the Senate and the House.
The former president has never conceded the election and instead points to the unprecedented number of votes he received as proof of his support. A recent Monmouth University Poll found the majority of Republicans don’t believe Biden legitimately won the presidency, and Coconato has called November’s election a “hideous steal.”
In elaborating on his comment that God answers prayers, Coconato said he believes God will “heal our land of the division and political polarization” taking place.
“We are upset to see the negative turn the country has taken when it comes to people being discouraged, divided, and disheartened in many areas including the area of election integrity,” Coconato told Newsweek.
In a previous live stream, Coconato called it a “critical time” for the future of America and criticized legislators’ agenda for being “demonic.” In an earlier live stream, he criticized their pro-choice stance and claimed they were attempting to restrict religious liberty.
“We pray for President Biden and pray that he leads this country in a righteous manner. We are not against anyone. We just want to see the nation led in a way that is positive for people to live freely and flourish,” Coconato told Newsweek.