Just one month after she endorsed Donald Trump for president, conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly says she is facing down an attempt to oust her from Eagle Forum, the grass-roots organization she founded 44 years ago.
"At 2 p.m. today, six directors of Eagle Forum met in an improper, unprecedented telephone meeting," Schlafly said in a curious and specific statement sent to reporters Monday evening. "I objected to the meeting and at 2:11pm, I was muted from the call. The meeting was invalid under the bylaws but the attendees purported to pass several motions to wrest control of the organization from me. They are attempting to seize access to our bank accounts, to terminate employees, and to install members of their own Gang of 6 to control the bank accounts and all of Eagle Forum."
Ed Martin, who Schlafly elevated to president of Eagle Forum in 2015, told The Washington Post that Schlafly had not been ousted yet, but that it was clearly the plan of Eagle's board. In an interview with WorldNetDaily, which publishes her work, the 91-year-old Schafly speculated that her Trump endorsement and opposition to the idea of a National Convention of States had roiled her opponents.
If so, the evidence had been building for months. After Schlafly made a surprise appearance at a Trump rally in Missouri, some Eagle Forum leaders criticized her; Cathie Adams, who runs the group's Texas branch, flatly speculated whether she could make a sound decision at her age.
"I think this was very much a manipulation," Adams told the Dallas Morning News. "When you’re 91 and you’re not out with the grassroots all the time, it is very much taking advantage of someone."
Schlafly's opponents in the "Gang of 6" include her daughter, Anne Cori; the group's treasurer and Schlafly's son, John Schlafly, told WorldNetDaily that her position was at risk only in Eagle Forum's nonprofit group, not its political wing. The trouble, he explained, started when his mother decided that Trump alone had a path to a first-round victory at the Republican convention, and "Phyllis won Trump’s support to maintain a conservative GOP platform this year."