Donald Trump met in private with both House and Senate Republicans today. His meeting with the latter apparently went pretty badly.
A Washington Post report reveals that Trump went on the attack against three Republican senators––two of whom were in the room––who have refused to back him.
And based on accounts of the people inside, things got pretty tense.
First, Trump attacked Senator Mark Kirk, who has been running an ad literally touting his refusal to endorse Trump as a sign of his strong leadership. Trump called him a loser and said he would win his state of Illinois anyway.
Kirk wasn’t in the room, and he responded thusly:
Kirk on Trump: "I guess he lit me up"
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) July 7, 2016
Next up, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. Now, see if you can discern whether he’s still bitter about anything:
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.
Yes, Flake is still pretty upset about Trump’s attacks on John McCain.
In response to the criticisms Flake leveled… well… just read on:
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, the sources said.
But Flake apparently also told Trump that he’s not firmly #NeverTrump, despite his reservations. That honor still goes to perhaps Trump’s fiercest Republican critic in the Senate, Nebraska’s Ben Sasse.
Sasse has said over and over he cannot bring himself to support Trump. After Trump attacked Heidi Cruz, Sasse tweeted, “This is sad, and everyone with a sister or wife or daughter or mom should reconsider supporting this tiny little man.”
Trump apparently went after Sasse as well in the closed-door meeting. It’s not yet known what it is Trump said to him, but the presumptive GOP nominee has previously referred to Sasse as a “gym rat.”
This is how a spokesperson for Sasse reacted to the meeting today:
“Senator Sasse went to today’s meeting ready to listen. Senator Sasse introduced himself to Mr. Trump, and the two had a gracious exchange. Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire. Nothing has changed.”
We now return you to our regularly scheduled GOP infighting…
[image via Gage Skidmore]
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