Posted: 8:09 pm Monday, May 9th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
When Donald Trump all but wrapped up the Republican nomination for President last week, there were many GOP lawmakers who were able to avoid the usual rush of reporters, as the Congress was on break. But with Trump coming to Washington, D.C in a few days, and lawmakers back at work, there will be a lot of questions for Republicans and how they view Trump.
First to get back to work was the Senate, as Democratic Leader Harry Reid began the new work period with yet another blast against Trump and Republicans in the Congress.
“Trump is the nominee Republican leaders deserve,”said Reid, who has been after Trump for months in speeches from the floor of the Senate, accusing Trump of running on a “platform of hate” and more.
Trump’s spokesman made sure to echo his words on to social media as well:
Reid: "Trump is the natural evolution of a party that's spent 8 years being anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-Obama and anti-working people."
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) May 9, 2016
In the hallways of the U.S. Capitol this week, it’s likely that many reporters will be looking for just one thing – reaction from Republican lawmakers about Trump, and whether they are ready to support the GOP standard bearer in November, or refuse to jump on board the Trump train.
The answers were varied on Monday as Senators returned first to work.
Sen. Corker says he'll go to GOP convention. Will he meet with Trump this week? "I don't know, we're busy doing our jobs."
— James Arkin (@JamesArkin) May 9, 2016
"I'm supporting the ticket!" A hurried @SenJohnBarrasso tells reporter in what's sure to be a fun week in the Capitol
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) May 9, 2016
Sen. Jeff Flake says he's not going to the GOP convention. "Just no reason to be there. Lots to do at home" @rollcall
— Bridget Bowman (@bridgetbhc) May 9, 2016
NRSC Chair Wicker shrugged off qs about GOP divide over Trump, saying "I'm pretty relaxed about it" he endorsed Trump, going to convention
— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) May 9, 2016
Look for even more of that on Tuesday evening, when the House holds its first vote, and reporters swarm into the Speaker’s Lobby looking for some comment, especially in light of Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to immediately embrace Trump, and the general unease some conservatives have about Trump.
This was the Tuesday morning headline from the Washington Post that raised some of the exact worries that some conservatives have about Trump:
The focus will be all about Trump later this week, as he meets on Capitol Hill with Speaker Ryan on Thursday; Trump will also sit down with Senate Republican leaders as well, as GOP bigwigs are certain to be asked repeatedly whether they stand with Trump – or not.
At the same time, not that far from Washington, D.C. on Monday was Hillary Clinton, who met with young mothers and families in Stone Ridge, Virginia.
But she was not interested in making headlines about Donald Trump.
“I have nothing to say about him and how he’s running his campaign,” Clinton told reporters.
Trump says he’s just warming up for his attacks on Clinton.
If I only had 1 person running against me in the primaries like Hillary Clinton, I would have gotten 10 million more votes than she did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2016
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.