US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has told a Christian broadcast network it is “possible” that Donald Trump is like Queen Esther, who saved Jews in the Old Testament.

Mr Pompeo made the statement in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on his trip to the Middle East.

The interviewer asked if the president is “like Queen Esther”, who interceded with her husband to save Jews in what was then Persia and is now Iran.

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo (Amir Cohen/AP)

Mr Trump has backed new sanctions on Tehran aimed at reducing its ability to threaten Israel.

Mr Pompeo said in response to the question: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.”

The secretary of state recently drew criticism for holding a briefing exclusively for “faith-based” journalists.