Concerned Women for America (CWA), a rightwing group that describes itself as the largest public policy women’s organisation in the US, was criticised for hosting “a misogynist indicted criminal”, after it announced a keynote speech by Donald Trump.
“Of course a misogynistic indicted criminal would speak to a conference of women determined to block access to reproductive healthcare and move backward instead of looking toward the future,” Christian F Nunes, national president of the National Organization for Women and chair of the NOW political action committee, said in a statement.
Last year, the right to abortion was removed by a supreme court to which Trump installed three conservative judges.
Nunes added: “We seek truth and accountability from our elected officials – former president Trump doesn’t know the meaning of those words.”
According to a count kept by the Washington Post, Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims during his four years in the White House.
Now running to return to power, he faces an unprecedented 91 criminal charges under four indictments. Two indictments (and 17 charges) concern election subversion, at state and federal levels. An additional 40 charges relate to Trump’s retention of classified information after leaving power.
The fourth indictment might indicate why eyebrows were raised in some corners of US public life when the legislative action committee of the CWA – a group representing evangelical Christian women – announced Trump’s speech to its summit at a hotel near the White House on Friday.
In New York state, Trump faces 34 charges related to hush money payments made during the 2016 election to a porn star and a Playboy model who claimed extramarital affairs.
Trump denies all wrongdoing and claims political persecution but his legal problems are not just criminal.
In addition to investigations of his business affairs, a civil suit in New York saw him found liable for defamation and sexual abuse and ordered to pay about $5m to E Jean Carroll, the writer who accused him of assaulting her in a department store changing room in the mid-1990s. The judge in the case has said Trump is an adjudicated rapist.
Trump has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by dozens of women.
Regardless, Penny Nance, chief executive and president of the CWA legislative action committee, said: “Our leaders are excited to hear from President Trump and honoured he has prioritised this gathering to lay out his vision for our country.”
Despite unprecedented legal jeopardy set to bring a succession of trials in election year, Trump dominates national and key state polling for the Republican presidential nomination.
In what will be a rare visit back to Washington not for a court proceeding, he is due to speak twice in the capital on Friday: to the CWA at 7pm ET, then to the Pray, Vote, Stand Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council, at 9pm.
Announcing its Trump speech, the CWA said the thrice-married, multiply accused, genitals-grabbing former president had signed its “presidential promise to American women, pledging to recognise the unique dignity of women”.