The Rev. Franklin Graham, the evangelical leader selected to grace the crowds at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration with a few religious words, attributed Trump’s election victory in November to the “hand of God” --and not Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Graham is one of six religious leaders who have been selected to pray and read Bible verses to the droves of people planning on inundating the steps of the capitol building in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20. Though he did not formally endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, Graham advocated for perhaps one of the most contested issue surrounding the Trump campaign, a ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. 

Graham appeared alongside Trump at one of his “Thank You” rallies in Mobile, Alabama, last week and told the crowd, "It wasn't hacking. It wasn't Wiki-leaky or whatever... But I have an opinion: I believe it was God. God showed up. He answered the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people across this land who had been praying for this country.”

President Barack Obama announced sanctions last week on Russian government officials for alleged interference in the country's 2016 election.

Graham, who is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical think-tank based in Boone, North Carolina, told local reporters he would be selecting his own Bible scripture passages to read at the inauguration. 

Graham said Islam has gotten “a free pass” in the U.S. under Obama's leadership, who he called a secret Muslim. Graham’s invitation to speak at the National Day of Prayer event at the Pentagon had been revoked in 2010 for his anti-Islamic rhetoric. He has referred to Islam as “a very evil and very wicked religion” while also suggesting the U.S. should play a proactive role in stopping its teachings from spreading to the Western world further by “using weapons of mass destruction if need be,” AOL News reported Sunday.

Graham said Trump won the election because God was answering the prayers of “hundreds of thousands” of Christians across the U.S. who yearned to, “ stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country."

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz told the Los Angeles Times Bush’s selection of Graham to speak that day signified his administrations’ disregard for the First Amendment of the constitution for favoring one religion over another.

“You alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer,” Graham told the crowd in 2001. “We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Graham is the son of another notorious evangelist, Bill Graham, from North Carolina who himself issued prayers in Richard Nixon's presidential inauguration in 1969, George H.W. Bush's in 1989 and Bill Clinton's in 1993 and 1997.

Voting exit polls indicated that 81 percent of white, self-described evangelicals voted for Trump,  NPR News reported on Nov. 9. Seventy-eight percent had voted for Romney four years prior.