Conservative Christian leaders’ decision to support Trump in the 2016 presidential election has not paid off if they were looking for someone to bolster their moral standing. The president has marked his time in office by flying off the rails at every available opportunity and fielding allegations of serious misconduct in the process.
Some of the latest allegations against him of misconduct state that soon after the present first lady Melania Trump gave birth to the first couple’s young son, Barron, the president had an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Eventually, it’s come out, the president’s team facilitated a payment of $130,000 in hush money covering the alleged affair.
A second woman, Karen McDougal, has also brought her allegations of an affair with the president back into the spotlight recently.
In the face of these allegations, NPR is reporting on plans for a meeting of evangelical Christian leaders and the president this coming June. A source speaking to the outlet said that those in their position are “very concerned” about the allegations against the president of at least two extramarital affairs that he carried on with while married to Melania Trump.
To be clear here, in October 2016, a tape was released featuring the man who is now president bragging about his supposed freedom to commit sexual assault. The next month, millions of people still voted for him anyway, and in the time since, an array of Christian leaders have firmly established themselves as supporters of the president.
In other words, the supposed concern for piety that the source speaking to NPR is drawing on here certainly doesn’t extend very far.
In fact, it’s not as though the sources communicating with NPR even sought to make it seem like supposed piety was the only reason they were aiming to have the meeting. They have practical concerns as well — in other words, they don’t want to lose power.
One source phrased the modus operandi behind the meeting’s planning by saying:
‘Let’s reconvene and let’s see what we can do to encourage enthusiasm — beyond Trump, so to speak.’
To that end, NPR reports that organizers are planning to frame the discussions at the meeting with strategies like reminders in church bulletins to vote when Election Day comes around later this year.
Organizers are tentatively planning on having the meeting on June 19 of this year at the president’s hotel in Washington, D.C., as just the latest example of the president’s business connections giving political and social interests a chance to possibly gain favor with him. One person in on the planning process for the meeting asserted that the question of whether or not the event’s placement and organizers’ reported planning cooperation with the White House represents something corrupt “doesn’t even cross our mind.”
According to NPR, organizers are aiming to have the president take questions from attendees in an open session for about 90 minutes.
The event mirrors one that took place in June 2016, when the president met with evangelicals and conservative Catholics in an aim to reassure them about his openness to their causes, as he’s sought to do at other times as well.
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