Subscribe to receive The 45th newsletter in your inbox.

President Donald Trump has used a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders on Monday to warn of "violent" consequences should the Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections. Trump said the administration's political opponents were "violent people" who would overturn gains on religious freedom "violently".

Trump warned the religious leaders: "they will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently. There's violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people."

"You're one election away from losing everything that you've got," he said.

The comments, which mark an escalation of Trump’s rhetoric, come amid deepening investigations into the president’s associates as well as a midterm battle that is entering its crucial final months.