CNN) -- In the face of mounting controversy over headline-grabbing statements from the Rev. John Hagee, CNN has learned that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain decided Thursday to reject his endorsement.
McCain told CNN's Brian Todd that he rejected the endorsement after Todd brought to his attention Hagee's comments that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.
"God says in Jeremiah 16: 'Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave to their fathers. ... Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.' That would be the Jews. ... Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter," Hagee said, according to a transcript of his sermon.