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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE recently encouraged House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe four Republicans who voted to condemn Trump's tweets White House abruptly cancels Trump meeting with GOP leaders Capitol Police chief says threats against lawmakers increasing 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.