Trump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE invited two of his biggest Senate Republican critics, Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Lindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Senators push Pentagon on Syria strategy after withdrawal uproar, Soleimani strike MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (Maine), to the White House on Thursday for an unspecified discussion.

The invitation comes as impeachment hearings in the House continue. The House is widely expected to impeach Trump, which would create a trial in the Senate where Romney and Collins would be two of the most scrutinized GOP votes.

Romney said before the meeting that he planned to talk about his own bill, the Trust Act, and the president’s plan for regulating vaping products.


“If I’m asked for questions I want to talk to him about my Trust Act and get his perspectives on that. Vaping as well, I’d like to talk to him about his vaping plans,” Romney said.

The other Senate attendees at Thursday’s lunch were Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGraham vows Biden, Ukraine probe after impeachment trial Social security emerges as latest flash point in Biden-Sanders tussle Trump to sign USMCA next Wednesday MORE (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDemocrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race Spending bill to address miners' health care, pensions Manchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation MORE (R-W.Va.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses MORE (R-Okla.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenBottom Line The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms MORE (R-N.D.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Marsha Blackburn shares what book she's reading during Trump Senate trial Sekulow indicates Trump should not attend impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.).

Thursday’s event was the latest in a series of lunches that Trump has held with Republican senators.

Last week, he previewed for a small group of senators the transcript from his April 21 phone call congratulating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his election.

Some Republican senators have used these meetings as a chance to give the president advice, such as Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Collins walks impeachment tightrope The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions MORE (Ohio), who in a recent lunch session urged the president to not let himself become too personally consumed by impeachment and let his Republican allies on Capitol Hill take up more of the burden of defense.


Grassley on Thursday said he had no agenda for the meeting.

“I’m going to see how the meeting goes. If they have an agenda, we’ll have to stick to their agenda,” he said. 

Brett Samuels contributed.