Senate

Trump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics

President Trump invited two of his biggest Senate Republican critics, Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Susan Collins (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 Grassley (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Rand Paul (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 Portman (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.

Tags Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Impeachment James Lankford John Hoeven Mitt Romney Rand Paul Rob Portman Shelley Moore Capito Susan Collins Ukraine

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