Trump encouraged Scalise to run for governor in Louisiana: report

Trump encouraged Scalise to run for governor in Louisiana: report
© Stefani Reynolds

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE recently encouraged House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force Top GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force over coronavirus probe House pays tribute to late Congressman Sam Johnson on the floor MORE (R-La.) to launch a gubernatorial bid against Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in Louisiana, according to an Axios report.

Axios, citing two sources familiar with the private conversation, reported Trump told the No. 2 Republican in the House that Scalise would easily win the election, while showing him polling numbers and assuring the congressman he would be willing to help.

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The conversation took place during a trip to the Pelican State on Air Force One with GOP lawmakers earlier this week, according to Axios.

Scalise — one of Trump’s top allies in the lower chamber — politely dismissed the suggestion, a source with knowledge of the talk also told the publication.

The Louisiana Republican has repeatedly said he doesn't have plans to launch a gubernatorial bid.

Bel Edwards is seeking reelection this year after winning his first term as governor in the traditionally red state in 2015.

“Scalise has said numerous times he isn’t running for governor and nothing has changed,” a Scalise aide told The Hill in response to the Axios report.

-- Updated at 05:49 p.m.