(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers said Friday that the choice of Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a critic of Trump’s immigration policies, to participate in the inaugural ceremony next month was a demonstration of the president-elect’s determination to reach out to people who may not agree with him.
Dolan, a Ballwin native and Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, met privately with Trump in mid-October, said senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who sat in on that meeting.
“They have a great relationship, actually, and we are very happy that Cardinal Dolan will participate in the inaugural,” Conway, who will be a counselor to Trump after the Jan. 20 inauguration, said. “They did have a very lovely meeting at the Cardinal’s residence.”
That Oct. 14 meeting came at a particularly tough time for Trump’s campaign. Nine women had come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct after a leaked 2005 tape released earlier that month had caught Trump speaking in vulgar terms about women. Trump denied the allegations.
Trump’s campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, had met with Dolan a few weeks earlier. Dolan enlisted both to appear at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York on Oct. 20.
Press reports at the time quoted Dolan as defending the choice of the two rivals to appear at the dinner.
“If I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone,” he said. [More]