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Washington • A Texas pastor scheduled to preach at a private ceremony for President-elect Donald Trump on Friday morning has made several derogatory remarks about Mormons and charged that a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Satan.
Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist, is set to address Trump and his family Friday before the incoming president takes the oath of office a moment that will be preceded by a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. CNN first reported Jeffress will preside at a ceremony at St. John's Episcopal Church a block from the White House.
Jeffress has said that Mormons "worship a false God," and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a "cult."
"We sometimes use the same terminology but it has vastly different meanings, and I just really encourage people now that they know Mormonism is a theological cult, to go ahead and do the research on their own," Jeffress told the Christian Post in 2011.
In his book "Not All Roads Lead to Heaven," Jeffress wrote that both Mormon founder Joseph Smith and Islam's Prophet Muhammad were "servants of Satan."
An unnamed Trump inauguration official told CNN: "Jeffress is a unifying figure representing a diverse spectrum of Americans. Any attempt to vilify this religious leader is deeply disappointing and misplaced."
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is set to perform a song at Trump's inauguration and will sing right before Trump is sworn into office. Two LDS apostles also will be representing the Utah-based faith at the event.