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Did Joel Osteen Endorse Donald Trump?

Contrary to rampant rumors, Joel Osteen did not endorse Donald Trump.
Contrary to rampant rumors, Joel Osteen did not endorse Donald Trump. (Facebook/Joel Osteen Ministries)

Despite calling Republican front-runner Donald Trump a "good man" in a radio interview, the Lakewood Church pastor denies rumors he endorsed Trump.  

"Contrary to the misinformation currently making the rounds on social media, Pastor Joel Osteen has not endorsed any candidate for president of the United States," according to a statement from the church.  

The interview in question, though, dates to 2015. More of Osteen's comments about Trump—"You can't find a more gracious, giving person than Mr. Trump"—trace back to 2014.  

Despite the rumors, IRS guidelines prohibit churches from endorsing candidates.  

"Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes," according to the code

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