Donald Trump met with Senate Republicans Thursday morning in what turned out to be a contentious event as he ended up calling one senator a loser.
When Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake stood up at the meeting and introduced himself, Trump said, “You’ve been very critical of me.”
“Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona – the one who didn’t get captured – and I want to talk to you about statements like that,” Flake replied, according to The Washington Post. The captured remark was a reference to Trump’s 2015 comments disapproving of Arizona Sen. John McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War.
Flake has yet to endorse Trump, but said at the meeting he would be open to doing so. Trump reportedly at the meeting said that has yet to attack Flake but threatened to start.
Trump then went on to attack two other senators who have been critical of him. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who withdrew his endorsement of Trump and was not present at the meeting, was characterized as a loser by the presumptive GOP nominee, The Post reports. Trump went on to predict that he would win the typically Democrat state of Illinois in the general election.
The Post also reports that Trump “singled out” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who is firmly in the “Never Trump” camp. Sasse’s spokesman, James Wegmann, told the Post, “Senator Sasse went to today’s meeting ready to listen. Senator Sasse introduced himself to Mr. Trump, and the two had a gracious exchange.”
“Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire. Nothing has changed,” Wegmann added.
Trump also met with House Republicans Thursday. “We had a great meeting, and I appreciate Donald Trump taking time to speak with House Republicans. Our members were grateful to hear about his general election plans and his desire to unify the party in advance of a critical election this November,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.
“It was an important opportunity for our members to get additional information about Mr. Trump’s campaign and ask questions about the issues that matter to Americans. It’s clear that our party is committed to defeating Hillary Clinton and Democrats this fall.”