Thursday, July 7, 2016

Donald Trump Meets With Those Other Guys

Donald Trump traveled to meet with Republican members of the House and Senate in Washington today. The House meeting went just great, according to Speaker Paul Ryan in describing his caucus’s reception of the presumptive nominee.  But not all the House members fell to their knees in praise of Trump, either. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger described his remarks to the House meeting as “a lot of stream of consciousness,” somewhat similar to his patter at rallies but “less cheery.”

The Senate meeting involved less tongue and more teeth, according to “two Republican officials with direct knowledge of the exchanges” who gave the inside dope to the Washington Post: 
"Trump’s most tense exchange was with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been vocal in his concerns about the business mogul’s candidacy, especially his rhetoric and policies on immigration that the senator argues alienate many Latino voters and others in Arizona.
When Flake stood up and introduced himself, Trump told him, “You’ve been very critical of me.” 
“Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that,” Flake responded......"
Flake assured Trump that he wasn’t part of the “Never Trump” movement, but also said he wasn’t entirely ready to give his unqualified backing.
"Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year......
Mr. Trump also reportedly aired his grievances about Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who wasn’t even at the meeting, but Trump apparently felt he needed to let Republican senators know who’s gonna be the boss. Trump was very, very disappointed with Kirk for unendorsing him.
"Characterizing Kirk as a loser, Trump vowed that he would carry Illinois in the general election even though the state traditionally has been solidly Democratic in presidential contests."
Trump also was said to have claimed that he had inside intelligence about Hillary Clinton’s vetting process for Supreme Court vacancies and that he knew the names of two people the Democratic nominee is considering nominating, two Republican officials said. But Trump did not reveal those names. He did not specify whether his source was both of the Two Corinthians, or just one.

According to Roll Call, all in all it was a very productive meeting. As they emerged from the meeting, some GOP members said they were happy with what they heard from their party’s likely nominee. New York Rep. Peter T. King, who has been critical of Trump in the past, said the gathering was “Donald Trump at his best.”