The Internet has been ablaze over the past few days with rumors that Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but there’s a major problem: that claim is unfounded.
Osteen, in fact, has not endorsed Trump, as many speculated, with the church flatly dismissing the claim in a statement issued to TheBlaze on Tuesday morning.
“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,” the statement read.
Rumors that Osteen had decided to throw his support behind Trump began to spread over the weekend and were seemingly based on a 2015 appearance on Fox News radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends” in which Osteen issued some favorable comments about the businessman.
In discussing Trump during the October interview, Osteen called him “a friend” to his ministry and an “incredible communicator,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
“I’m not really up to speed on all the politics. I think it resonates tom ‘Hey, maybe the country’s not where we should be — let’s get back to where we were,” Osteen said. “He’s an incredible communicator and brander. He’s been a friend of our ministry. He’s a good man.”
But, again, he didn’t endorse him.
Listen to the interview below and hear the Trump comments at the 5:00 mark:
And it seems that Trump, too, is a fan of Osteen. He has tweeted some of the pastor’s quotes and once said, “Being associated with Joel is my great honor — he is a fantastic man!”
We’ll leave you with just some of the tweets that have been circulating:
So Joel Osteen supports Trump?
— Lisha Michele (@_LishaMichele_) March 15, 2016
Pastor Joel Osteen is under fire for his Donald Trump comments. If true, he doesn't have a prayer.
— Howie Fox (@fabbeatlebob) March 15, 2016
— Mike Mitchell (@mikemitchellnyc) March 15, 2016
So Osteen never endorsed Trump? Whatever, he's still a snake
— Brandon (@BMS355) March 15, 2016
So what yall saying bout your fav pastor Joel Osteen endorsing Donald Trump ?
— Rilwan (@realoneeee) March 15, 2016