NPR reported today that evangelical leaders are seeking to organize a meeting with President Trump this summer at which they intend to confront the president about his alleged affair with, and payoff of, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. To those who have been following the Religious Right’s support for the president, this story seemed highly suspect because the movement has displayed nothing but blind loyalty in return for Trump’s willingness to enact their political agenda.
This afternoon, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who has played a central role in maintaining the Trump/Religious Right partnership, appeared on Todd Starnes’ radio program, where he announced that evangelicals have no intention whatsoever of confronting Trump about his personal immorality.
Perkins is among those who are in the process of planning the upcoming meeting, which he explained is intended to be nothing more than a follow-up to the meeting that Trump held with hundreds of evangelical activists prior to the 2016 election. Perkins said that there is a risk that evangelical voters may not be motivated to vote in the midterm elections and so this meeting is designed primarily as a means of highlighting the fact that Trump has largely kept his promises to enact their agenda.
“The president is actually keeping his promises that he made two years ago,” Perkins said, “and so his agenda is actually in jeopardy—which is an agenda that we agree with—is in jeopardy because so many evangelicals and conservatives are frustrated with Congress and they are likely not to show up and vote in the fall … We need to communicate to evangelical leaders the importance of conservatives, evangelicals, Christians being involved in the process.”
“This has nothing to do with the controversy of Stormy Daniels,” Perkins said. “It is not a confrontational meeting, it is a continuation of a conversation.”
“At no point in the conversations that we’ve had organizing this … [was there any] discussion at all about doing this to have a confrontational meeting with the president,” he added. “It is not going to be a confrontational meeting with the president. That is just absolutely not true because that’s not what we are hearing. It might be what the media wants to take place, but it’s not going to happen.”