Evangelicals are planning a high-profile meeting with Trump

President Trump’s evangelical advisers are planning a meeting between him and as many as 1,000 evangelical pastors later this spring, according to one of the leading advisers, Johnnie Moore, and several other people involved. The meeting will fall at a time when some prominent evangelical leaders are nervous that a dramatically lower number of conservative Christian voters will turn out for this fall’s midterm elections, as a president embraced by evangelical voters is enmeshed in a high-profile sex scandal.

The group organizing the pastors’ meeting with Trump consists primarily of white evangelicals, who have had regular access to the White House during Trump’s term unlike other U.S. faith groups. The details of the gathering, which was first reported by NPR, aren’t nailed down, but several people who have had discussions about attending the event say that the Trump International Hotel in June has been proposed as a venue and time.

Most of the pastors who would be invited are supporters of Trump’s positions on abortion, Israel and churches’ ability to endorse political candidates. But some of these evangelical leaders say that recent implications of sexual immorality have cast a shadow among “values voters” over the administration’s policy achievements — especially the claim by porn star Stormy Daniels that she was paid off by Trump’s lawyer to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.

Florida megachurch pastor Paula White, one of the organizers of the summit, said the plan is to celebrate the president’s accomplishments and identify priorities for the future. White said in a text message that there has been “zero talk” about Daniels.

Moore, a spokesman for the unofficial group of evangelical advisers who visit Trump at the White House, said he has sat in on several meetings about planning the gathering. “I’m certain there wouldn’t be this quizzing of the president on various things. If anything, I think it would be a celebration of the various policy achievements of this administration,” he said. “The administration, from the perspective of religious liberty and the sanctity of human life, has achieved so much, so quickly.”

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