Family Research Council president Tony Perkins appeared on “Breitbart News Daily” yesterday to boast of the his group’s far-reaching influence in the Trump administration, arguing that Trump’s recent announcement that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military was in part the result of FRC’s collaboration with the White House.
When Alex Marlow, the host of the program, asked Perkins if he saw President Trump’s Twitter declaration of the policy change—which took even many people in the Pentagon by surprise—coming, Perkins responded that he “was not surprised” because the FRC has been “working with the White House” in order to obstruct the “cultural grenade” of the Obama-era policy that paved the way for allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. While Perkins conceded that he “didn’t know what the exact action” was that the administration would take, he “knew they were going to do something.”
Perkins also credited FRC with Defense Secretary James Mattis’ decision earlier this month to delay the planned integration of openly transgender troops, saying that the organization had “been working with the White House and alerting them” about the transgender inclusion policy “and the implications of this, and so that’s when you saw the Secretary of Defense Mattis giving a six-month extension.”
“I was not surprised,” Perkins said, “I knew the president was dealing with this.”
Marlow praised the president and Perkins for the reversal on the transgender policy, stating that the president’s declaration “is a promise kept” to his supporters.
Perkins also described how his organization successfully “worked with the president and the White House to get the executive order out back in May” that undermined the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits nonprofits such as churches from making public political endorsements. He added that FRC is now working with the administration on the “second phase” of that plan, which will involve the Department of Justice developing guidelines for federal agencies to address the “loss of religious freedom” that has resulted from “this sexual anarchy.”
Perkins previewed these new guidelines on his own radio program earlier this week, saying, “We are going to see government agencies basically put on notice that they have to respect religious freedom. And that is not just the ability to believe, it is the free exercise of religion.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions also hinted at the coming “religious freedom” guidelines in a speech to Alliance Defending Freedom this month.
FRC’s senior fellow for policy studies, Peter Sprigg, told Newsweek recently that the group has “big communications channels with the Trump administration” and that Perkins “has met and knows Donald Trump as well.”
Perkins also noted in the Breitbart interview that FRC would continue pushing for the confirmation of Trump’s judicial nominees, saying that he gives Trump “an A” for his judicial nominees so far, adding that confirming those nominees is “mission critical to the advancement of making America great again, to stop these judicial activists who have been actually blocking the president almost at every turn.”