Who Is Paula White? Meet The New High Priestess In The Cult Of Trump

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Pool/Getty Images.
Two days after Election Day, the United States is still waiting to find out who the next president will be, and as anxiety grows, people are employing different methods to deal with it: Biden is telling his supporters to be patient and wait for all the votes to be counted, while Trump is demanding that votes stop being counted in cities that are likely to vote against him. Others, like White House “spiritual advisor” Paula White, are simply praying for Trump's victory.
On Wednesday, a video of White made the rounds, where she was preaching in rushed and nonsensical tones that bordered on demonic tongue. “We break and divide every demonic confederacy against the election, against America, against that who you have declared to be in the White House,” White said, chanting so quickly that each word blended into the next. “We break it up in the name of Jesus. We lose confusion into demonic confederacy directed right now at this election, directed specifically at the six states."
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And of course, the age-old prayer: "We come against people that are working at high levels right now with demonic confederacies and secrecies and demonic plans and networks, we break it up and we command that it be exposed right in the name of Jesus.” White later went on to claim that "Angels have been dispatched from Africa" and that she hears "the sound of victory." Sounds a bit cult-like, no?
While many people may not have heard of White before this video, she has been around Trump for decades and is a well-known televangelist. And although White doesn't have an official title within the administration, the Washington Post reported in 2017 that she serves as a "spiritual advisor" and pastor to the president, as well as heading a group of about 35 Evangelical pastors who formed a pseudo-council for Trump. Of her relationship with Trump, she told the Post at the time, "I don't preach to anyone [including the president] on behaviour modification… Everyone needs a safe place in life, and pastors can be people's safe place. That's why I have this relationship, because I don't talk about it."
But as many pundits were quick to point out, White built her empire preaching in predominantly Black churches and to predominantly Black audiences — at one point, she was the highest-rated preacher on Black Entertainment Television, where she signed a $1.5 million (£900,000) deal in 2001. In 2007, Sen. Chuck Grassley began an investigation into White and her then-husband, whose church was bringing in $40 million (£32m) per year, for misuse of donations (in 2010, the investigation was closed).
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As the video of White's bizarre prayer began to circulate online, she was quickly accused of appropriating the style and tenor of Black faith leaders — and not for the first time, either. "Paula White is one of countless examples of White preachers cosplaying with Black cadences while ignoring Black issues. You can’t just want our rhythm without wanting our blues. This is how you exploit your neighbour, not how you love them," wrote one Twitter user.
Her support for Trump has strained her relationship with her the Black community in some ways before, but perhaps more than ever now. White's congregation has reportedly lost several hundred members and over $10,000 (£7,000) per week in donations since she began working in the Trump White House — but she has continued to preach in majority Black churches, something that many people see as predatory and actively harmful to her congregants.
"Man. I remember Paula White coming to my very diverse, Evangelical church in South Dallas back in the day. The black women in my family were huge supporters. And now...." wrote The Washington Post's Karen Attiah on Twitter.
Her preaching may be bizarre and unnerving to people who don’t follow White’s teachings, but it’s looking like Trump is going to need more than a prayer to pull off a victory.

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