It was the first time this fall that all four women had participated in a single campaign rally with Trump, and the optics seemed designed to show the president flanked by female supporters as his party struggles to overcome a deficit of support among female voters.
At his final stop of the night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Trump also brought on stage three conservative superstars, radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro. Trump taped an exclusive interview with Hannity's show on Fox News right before he went on stage, where Limbaugh, a Missouri native, introduced the president.
Later in the rally, Trump called Hannity up on stage, where the conservative talk show host wasted no time disparaging the journalists covering the rally as "fake news" and repeating Trump's midterm campaign slogan. Pirro also came on stage, where she urged the crowd to "vote for Donald Trump" despite the fact that Trump is not on the ballot this year.
The appearance of the Fox News stars on stage was particularly unexpected given that it came only hours after Hannity issued a statement saying specifically that he would not be participating in the campaign rally, but merely broadcasting his show from the venue.
On Tuesday, Fox News publicly rebuked Hannity and Pirro for appearing with Trump. "FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events," the network said in a statement to CNBC. "We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed." Fox did not say, however, what actions it had taken to address the issue with two of its biggest prime time stars.
In addition to the statement from Fox, Hannity said Tuesday that when he pointed at the pool of reporters and called them "fake news" at the rally, he did not mean the Fox News reporters who were among them.
For much of the rest of the day, Trump kept up his recent focus on immigration, an issue he reportedly decided to zero in on during the election's closing weeks, despite a consensus view among his political advisors that Trump should focus on the strong economy instead.