(RNS) In his first press briefing at the White House, President Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer spoke to two issues important to the conservative Christians who overwhelmingly voted for the president: opposition to abortion and support for moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.[ad number="1"]
At the Monday (Jan. 23) briefing, CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) White House correspondent Jennifer Wishon was picked to ask the second question: What message was Trump sending with his action earlier in the day to reinstate a rule banning U.S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion? The rule was created under President Ronald Reagan and has flip-flopped under Republican and Democratic presidents.[ad number="2"]
Spicer said the action echoed Trump's values.
"The president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear he’s a pro-life president. He wants to stand up for all Americans, including the unborn," he said.
— David Brody (@TheBrodyFile) January 23, 2017
Trump had supported abortion rights before he announced in 2015 he had "evolved" on the issue.[ad number="3"]
But the press secretary appeared to walk back an earlier pledge to move the U.S. embassy in Israel, saying the administration was "at the early stages in this decision-making process."
"If it was already a decision, we wouldn't be going through a decision-making process," he said.
— Pastor John Hagee (@PastorJohnHagee) January 22, 2017
Trump had said in a March speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee he wanted to move the embassy to "the eternal capital of the Jewish people," but said in a later interview that would happen "fairly quickly."