(RNS) — President Trump, embroiled in a controversy over possible collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 election, sat for an interview with the Rev. Pat Robertson, former Republican presidential candidate and host of the Christian television show "The 700 Club."
The interview, which will be aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network on Thursday (July 13), is another example of the president's sidestepping of the traditional news media for friendlier outlets.
Robertson, who founded CBN in 1961, was a vocal Trump supporter during the 2016 campaign. He defended the candidate's lewd behavior in a 2005 "Access Hollywood" video as "macho talk" and has described Trump critics as "revolting against God's plan for America."
It is not unusual for an embattled president to do an interview with a friendly outlet in times of crisis. President Obama was famous for limiting his access to the traditional news media, though he sat for an interview with "Scholastic kid reporters" and the comedian Zach Galifianakis.
CBN plans to air the interview in its entirety. A press release said it will cover "a wide range of issues, from the Russia coverage and former FBI director James Comey, to healthcare, tax reform and presidential nominees."