Posted: 3:45 pm Monday, March 21st, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Washington, D.C. –
In a bid to gain more support from the Republican establishment, Donald Trump met on Monday with current and former GOP lawmakers in Congress, getting advice and insight on how best to move his candidacy for President forward, and grab hold of the Republican nomination.
“It’s obvious that Mr. Trump will be our nominee,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who had previously endorsed Trump.
“We need to find out how to unify Washington behind our candidate, so we can get prepared for the Democratic nominee,” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), who was one of a small group of GOP lawmakers who sat down with Trump.
Others on hand included, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Sen. Jim DeMint, who now leads the Heritage Foundation, and ex-Rep. Bob Livingston, who now leads a large lobbying firm in Washington.
“I actually voted for somebody else,” Livingston told us after the meeting, “and then I saw this reaction against Donald Trump.”
Livingston said that GOP effort to stop Trump aggravated him so much, that he decided to throw his support to Trump and help the GOP front runner.
“That’s what got me mad, and that’s why I’m here,” Livingston said.
One person who did not comment was former Speaker Gingrich, who arrived and departed with his wife, but gave no readout from his point of view on the meeting inside.
“Jones and Day does pretty good lunches,” the Speaker said, referring to the high powered D.C. law firm where the meeting took place, just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
Trump did not emerge from the building to take questions after the meeting, instead going down to the site of the new hotel that his company is finishing, just blocks from the White House.
“We had a great meeting, we had a really good meeting,” Trump told reporters at a separate news conference at the future Trump Hotel.
Trump was again optimistic about the future of the GOP race.
“We’re doing very well in Arizona,” a state that Trump is favored to win on Tuesday, as Trump predicted he will not have to deal with a contested GOP convention in July.
“We should make it pretty easily based on what I’m seeing,” Trump said.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.