Trump leaves DC without a unified party. Rubio skips the meeting
WASHINGTON – Today is the day that Donald Trump came to the Nation’s Capital to answer questions and bring together the Republican Party. Trump wanted to get everyone on the same page as the Republican National Convention is only 11 days away in Cleveland.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who ran against Trump for the GOP nomination made the choice to skip the meeting. He made it clear that he was focused on his re-election campaign.
After having a very productive with Republican members of the House, Trump went down the street to the National Republican Senatorial Committee building on Capitol Hill for a lunch time get together. The presumptive GOP Presidential nominee found that his support in the upper chamber was far less receptive than with the Republican Congressional delegation.
According to the Washington Post and other media outlets are reporting that Trump had a spirited exchange with two members of the group. Trump singled out his chief Republican nemesis in the Senate, Ben Sasse, during a private meeting with senators on Thursday, and also had a testy exchange with Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.
The Post, is reporting that at one point during the gathering, Trump turned to the Nebraska senator and said, “You must want Hillary,” according to a source in the room. Sasse, who has vowed not to vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton, did not respond, the source said.
Trump also had words with Flake, another vocal critic of the GOP standard bearer. Flake questioned Trump pointedly about his rhetoric on Latinos, including his criticism of a judge of Mexican descent presiding over a lawsuit over Trump University, according to a source in the room.
Trump, in turn, criticized Flake for not supporting his campaign and said he will pay in his reelection campaign, which Trump apparently believed is this year. Flake’s term is up in 2018.
Flake appeared to restrain himself from responding to Trump afterward.
“Nah, I’ll leave it,” he said.
While, Trump had words with Flake and Sasse for the most part his meeting with senators went uneventful. He did have a chance to chat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who finished second to Trump on the race to the GOP nomination.
There was an agreement that Cruz will speak at the convention, but will not be endorsing him. So, Trump will leave Washington without a totally united party.