Billionaire and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and former presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will meet Tuesday in New York City with many of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian leaders.
The event is not only closed to the press, but will be sealed with security to ensure a media blackout, according to WND.
Taking place at the Marriott Marquis in New York , the meeting will include such leaders as “James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, American Values President Gary Bauer and many megachurch pastors,” WND reported. In all, nearly 900 invited guests are expected to attend the event, billed as “A Conversation About America’s Future with Donald Trump and Ben Carson.”
The meeting will give Christian leaders the opportunity to get answers from the candidate on issues of importance to evangelicals.
According to WND, Tony Perkins spoke to the reservations many people of faith have when considering whether or not to vote for Trump.
“Many evangelicals did not support him,” Perkins said. “There are many out there that I think would like to, but there is some uncertainty. … Look, as evangelicals, Christians, conservatives in this process, we not only want to have influence but we also have to be a witness to the truth.”
Perkins continued, “And, so part of that is, ‘Alright, let’s have a conversation about these issues. Maybe you didn’t think through them.’ And I give him the benefit of the doubt that as a businessman who’s been doing other things, he’s not thought through these policies, and that’s why you’ll see him from time to time change his positions once it’s been explained to him.” He was referring to the numerous times Trump has walked back comments after receiving criticism.
Johnny Moore, a spokesman for My Faith Votes, said of the event, “The Trump campaign has been unbelievably cooperative to commit such time with these leaders.” Moore called the event “the largest, most representative gathering of national, Christian leaders I’ve seen in my lifetime,” adding further, “It is not a meeting of political activists.”