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Archbishop of Canterbury: I don't understand Christian support for Trump

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Credit: ITV/Peston On Sunday

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he does not understand why Christians have given such support for Donald Trump but he would be willing to sit down with the US leader.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby said he "really genuinely" does not comprehend why fundamentalist church-goers have been such a support base for Mr Trump as he appeared on the ITV Peston on Sunday show.

If a state visit by the President does go ahead, then the Rt Rev Welby would be invited to join him for a state dinner - and said he would attend.

"I meet lots of other people as well," he said in explanation.

"I spent years and years involved in conflict stuff around the world where I met people who had killed many, many people.

"You know, part of the job is to meet people you disagree with, and to testify with the love of Christ to them and to seek to draw them in to a different way."

US President Donald Trump enjoys strong support from fundamentalist Christians. Credit: PA

Asked about Mr Trump's support from fundamentalist Christians in the US, he replied: "There's two things going through my mind: do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say?

"And I'm going to say what I think.

"No I don't understand it.

"I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from."

The Rt Rev Welby was asked about the resignation of Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron in June. Mr Farron said at the time that remaining "faithful to Christ" was incompatible with being a party leader.

Mr Farron had come under fire after refusing to say that gay sex was not a sin.

Most Rev said he sympathy both for Mr Farron and for people that took offence to his comments.

"I think it's one of those push-button issues which is really, really difficult to deal with," he said.