• "We just do it, right? And we think about God," remarked the president, addressing Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian.
  • At the event, the president also credited his administration with making the word "God" more popular, and signed an executive order to launch a religious freedom initiative.
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President Donald Trump on Thursday credited contemplating God with helping him get through special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into allegations of Russian collusion, and other probes he had denounced as "witch hunts."

At a White House Rose Garden event marking the National Day of Prayer, the president remarked "people say, 'How do you get through that whole stuff? How do you get through those witch hunts and everything else?"

"And you know what we do, Mike?" he said, addressing Vice President Mike Pence. "We just do it, right? And we think about God."

At the event, Trump also said that since taking office, more people were using the word "God."

"You know, a lot of people they don't say it. But you know what? They're starting to say it more. Just like we're starting to say, "Merry Christmas" when that day comes around."

"You notice the big difference between now and two or three years ago? It was Paula, it was going in the other direction rapidly. Right? Now it's straight up," remarked the president to religious leaders who had gathered for the event.

At the event, the president also signed an executive order to "help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs."

Critics have warned that the measure could allow for anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

Since the Mueller report was released in April, Trump has falsely claimed it completely exonerates him of charges of collusion and obstruction, and pledged to take action against the officials who instigated the probe.

Attorney General William Barr faced hours of questions from the Senate Judicial Committee Wednesday, defending himself against accusations he deliberately misled lawmakers and the public about the Mueller probe's findings ahead of its release, and lied to Congress.

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