President Donald Trump will hold a telephone town hall to promote his executive order on the infamous Stormy Daniels-Michael Cohen hush money deal from early Tuesday. Trump will hold the tele-rally later Monday afternoon with radio talk show host Michael Youngkin, a Trump ally, Fox News has learned.
The Town Hall Phone Rallies was launched last year to extend the reach of Trump’s message. The main shift: these events would allow him to speak to smaller audiences, both in person and via phone.
Friday night, Trump called Special Counsel Robert Mueller about his potential obstruction of justice in the Russian meddling probe, Fox News reported. Trump called after a Fox News report Thursday evening said Mueller was directing him to testify in a planned interview before the special counsel. But Mueller said Trump’s exact request was inappropriate, a new report from The Wall Street Journal said Friday night.
Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have clashed over the firing of FBI Director James Comey. The White House, in an effort to woo Republicans and GOP-leaning voters, had been quietly working to combat Sessions’ renewed effort to convince Trump not to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Fox News reported.
Sources tell Fox News that the White House specifically courted the support of Youngkin, a supporter of candidate Trump in the 2016 election, and a Hannity regular. They say they know Trump will take questions from Youngkin, whose on-air role is as a CNN-to-Fox cross-talk host.
Youngkin was a Trump backer in the 2016 campaign, leading to online speculation in July 2017 that Trump might not endorse a Republican candidate in the upcoming primaries. But Youngkin told The Guardian in December he is speaking out now in favor of Trump.
Youngkin is not a source for the Wall Street Journal’s Russia report.
Youngkin did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment about the tele-rally.
The tele-rally will take place in Lexington, Kentucky, and is not a traditional Oval Office address, but will involve a short speech, Fox News reported.
The major focus of the town hall will be on Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern border. He’ll also discuss his executive order on the Stormy Daniels payment.
In January, Trump signed an executive order to bring legal clarity to the payoffs to Daniels and to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford. The order prohibits any corporation or individual that was and would be headed by a federal official from making any payment and authorizing a reimbursement to any subordinate for an “impermissible use” of funds without identifying the subordinate.
But the order was restricted by the law and a federal court, a judicial branch led by Trump appointees, ruled the executive order will not go into effect until several legal challenges to its enforcement have been resolved.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign is firing back, saying the Journal’s report is “just another in a series of false stories” about the president.
Earlier this week, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee about her conversations with Trump over firing FBI Director James Comey. Yates, fired by Trump after insisting he follow proper protocol in the Russia probe, said on national television that she feared the president may be “issuing a lawful but inappropriate directive.”
Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt and Tami Luhby contributed to this report.