‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson Defends Donald Trump: Critics ‘Need to Lighten Up’

Everybody just chill. Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson said in a new interview that critics of Donald Trump “need to lighten up.”

The 70-year-old reality star sat down with WABC radio host Rita Cosby on Friday, October 7, and revealed that he had recently had a conversation with the Republican presidential candidate himself, and that the pair spoke about faith.

“Before I went in there [to meet with Trump], I drew the gospel out in symbols – an arrow coming down out of heaven, year one, God becoming flesh, Jesus, dying on a cross, and when I got to that little part, I told Donald, I said 'Donald, you don't want to miss this.’ I said, 'Jesus died for you.’ I said, 'You do have sins,’” the devout Christian told Cosby. “He said, 'Yeah.' So he didn't hesitate, and I thought, 'Well, the man admits he's a sinner, that's a start.’”

phil Robertson
Phil Robertson on February 19, 2016 Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Robertson added that he felt that Trump, 70, was genuine in his interest, and even pocketed the diagram that the reality star had drawn out. “He listened, and he said, ‘Can I have that?’ And I had written the gospel out in symbolic form, so he got it. And he put it in his coat pocket,” Robertson said. “ … Now whether he will put his faith in that or not, we’ll wait. I would just remind America, we need to give Donald Trump time, or anyone else, when it comes to 'Well you know, he did this and did that'… like we're not all sinners? I mean, give me a break.”

Robertson spoke in particular about the 100 evangelical leaders and others who recently signed a letter condemning Trump and urging others not to vote for the real estate billionaire.

“I would say they need to lighten up, start going out and preaching the gospel to different people, including Donald Trump, and give him some time to think about spiritual matters, and work with him, and not condemn anybody,” he said of the message he’d like to convey to the evangelical leaders, adding that “the litmus test they’re using is not a correct one.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump on September 26, 2016 Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Robertson previously had ties to Ted Cruz’s campaign, with the then-GOP presidential hopeful even suggesting that the Duck Dynasty patriarch might make a good U.N. ambassador.

“You know what? There is a reason he terrifies the mainstream media,” Cruz, 45, said in February. “He says things you’re not supposed to say. He actually remembers who we are as Americans and he speaks it with a joy. Not with an anger, not with a hatred — with a joy in who we are.”

The Robertson clan has been outspoken throughout the presidential race; Phil’s son Willie has been a vocal Trump supporter from the get-go, and in September, the conservative joined him onstage in Oklahoma City to stump for Trump.

"I do like me some Trump, I gotta admit," Willie said at the time. "Here’s the deal. We’re both successful businessmen, we both have pretty big shows on television, and we both have wives that are 1,000 times better looking than us. So I like Trump."

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