Washington – After a private meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday, it was announced that Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s former chief rival for the GOP nomination, will speak at the Republican National Convention (RNC) later this month.
Cruz told the reporters after the meeting that the presumptive Republican nominee offered him a slot during the RNC, to which Cruz, accepted. They did not discuss any endorsement at the moment, the senator said. The two former rivals met with the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters, in which Trump also met with several party leaders, as reported by CNN.
“We had a positive and productive meeting this morning with Donald Trump. Donald asked me to speak at the Republican convention and I told him I would be happy to do so,” Cruz told the reporters in the area.
It is the first time Cruz and Trump held a personal meeting since the senator dropped out of the presidential race several months ago. According to Priebus, Trump and Cruz had a good conversation, but he could not offer any specific due to the gathering was private.
“I will just say they had a good conversation, and it was very polite and cordial and reasonable,” Priebus told CNN. “I know they are working on details.”
— Andrew Wilkow (@WilkowMajority) July 7, 2016
Seeking GOP unity
Thursday’s meeting with Trump and Senate Republicans had the primary goal to pursue greater party unity ahead of the RNC. However, the reunion not always stated focused as Trump admonished three senators who have been critical of him, as reported by the Washington Post.
Two Republican officials with a direct knowledge of the event commented that the presumptive Republican nominee predicted that the senators would lose their reelection bids due to their lack of support. The most extensive word exchange was with Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, who has publicly shown his concerns about the billionaire’s candidacy. Flake has argued that his rhetoric and policies on immigrants could alienate many Latino voters and others in Arizona.
The Arizona Senator told Trump that he wants to be able to support him, due to he was not part of the “never Trump movement.” But he added that he remained uncomfortable backing his candidacy.
At one point, Trump threatened to begin attacking Flake “hard,” in which he predicted that Flake would lose his reelection. After than Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the Republican source told the Washington Post. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign’s chairperson and senior strategist, commented against the alleged rumors after the meeting.
According to a statement from Manafort, the meeting was positive and productive and those characterizations, attributed to unnamed sources, were completely inaccurate. The conversation, Manafort said, was very active and substantive. The members were in total agreement with Trump, of the need to unite the party and work together to win the Presidency and keep a Republican Congress, he added.
— Republicans for Cruz (@Republican4Cruz) July 7, 2016
Source: The Washington Post