As Scandal Unfolds, Trump Invites Friendly Religious Right Audience To Oval Office

On Monday, as the latest revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian government-connected lawyer were unfolding, President Trump invited an appreciative audience to visit him in the Oval Office: a gaggle of Religious Right leaders who had been gathered next door at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

CBN reports:

About two dozen evangelical leaders spontaneously prayed with President Trump in the Oval Office Monday during a day-long “listening session” with the Office of Public Liaison.

Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice-president at Liberty University, posted pictures of the prayer time Tuesday night on social media but emphasized that it was more than just a photo op.

“It shows a substantive relationship between the evangelical community and this administration,” he told CBN News.

Moore said faith leaders are enjoying frequent access to officials throughout the Trump administration and explained: “We enjoy an open door, not just in the Eisenhower Building, but in the West Wing.”

He described the president as “in wonderful spirits” as did Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

“It was so relaxed,” Suarez told CBN News. “Just like friends getting together.”

California pastor Jim Garlow, a driving force behind his state’s anti-marriage-equality Proposition 8, shared a photo of the meeting, which also included former Rep. Michele Bachmann, controversial preacher John Hagee, “prosperity gospel” preacher and longtime Trump ally Paula White, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, Robert Jeffress, Rodney Howard-Browne, former Southern Baptist Convention policy head Richard Land, and Tony Suarez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Former Liberty University official Johnnie Moore tweeted a photo of the group, along with Vice President Mike Pence, praying over Trump:

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who was also at the meeting, wrote in an update to his organization’s members that the group discussed “a full range of issues which included the repeal of Obamacare, federal court appointments, foreign policy, Israel, and about a half-dozen other topics.” He gushed that Trump and his administration are “genuinely interested and responsive to the concerns of the evangelical community.”

Perhaps thinking of the damaging story that was unfolding about Trump’s campaign, Perkins then warned his readers: “DON’T TRUST THE MEDIA! Identify and rely on alternative, verifiable conservative news sources.”