Trump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE invited two of his biggest Senate Republican critics, Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Statesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days 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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties Congressional leaders unite to fight for better future for America's children and families MORE (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress braces for chaotic December MORE (R-W.Va.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Israeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo 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 PaulTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law McConnell says he's 'honored' to be WholeFoods Magazine's 2019 'Person of the Year' 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 PortmanHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Lawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing 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.