Scalise meets with Trump in Florida during fundraising swing
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) met with former President Trump at Mar-a-Lago while on a fundraising trip to Palm Beach, Fla., this week as the party grapples with divisions in the post-Trump era.
“Scalise is in Florida this week on political travel and had meetings at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday and touched base with President Trump while he was there,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said in a statement.
Scalise’s trip followed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) trip to Florida late last month to meet with the former president to discuss plans to take back the House in 2022.
Politico first reported the news of Scalise’s Tuesday meeting with Trump.
The Louisiana Republican’s meeting comes amid what appears to be a fracture within the Republican Party between those who disagree with Trump and want to move on from his presidency, and those who remain his allies.
Trump recently took aim at lawmakers who rebuked his behavior during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
After Trump was acquitted in the Senate last week, McConnell took to the floor and blasted the former president as “practically and morally” responsible for the deadly riot during which Trump supporters attempted to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
Trump took aim at McConnell following the Senate impeachment trial, releasing a scathing statement that claimed that, “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.” He also called on Republicans to elect new candidates who would carry on his legacy.
Trump allies have also vowed to take aim at lawmakers and candidates that don’t align with their ideology.
In addition, several state and local Republican parties have voted to censure Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach the president including those in the states represented by Cheney, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), a vocal Trump critic, among others.
While a number of prominent Republicans have spoken out against Trump, a recent Quinnipiac University survey shows 75 percent of GOP respondents would like him to play a leading role in the party and he retains the support of a sizable amount of GOP lawmakers.
–Updated 3:33 p.m.