During a Capitol Hill luncheon yesterday with Senate Republicans and President Trump, Sen. Dean Heller was one of only two senators given a chance to ask the President a direct question. Instead of using that time to actually ask a question or stand up for Nevadans, Heller reportedly “heaped praise on Trump,” attacked the media, and then requested that he hold off on focusing on his plans for a U.S.-Mexico border wall until after the midterm elections (to protect his own re-election chances). It was a truly humiliating moment for Heller.
Only two senators had an opportunity to question Trump, according to lawmakers who were there, and those weren’t even really questions. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Republicans need to talk more about the GOP’s accomplishments, and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) heaped praise on Trump for his work on the economy.
“He really didn’t have an ask. It was really more of a thank you,” a GOP senator said of Heller, the most vulnerable Republican senator up for reelection this year.
Another senator — Dean Heller, who faces a tough re-election in Nevada — told Trump how popular he was in Israel for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Heller described pro-Trump banners hanging from streetlights and wrapping buses during his visit for the opening, and told the president, “if you had banners hanging from the light posts in America, the media would tear them down.” Heller added, “He totally agreed.”
As Trump finished his remarks and the brief question-and-answer portion of the closed-door Republican luncheon began, Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada who is up for re-election in November, spoke up about a key Trump policy.
He talked first about the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem. Heller attended that, but then he pivoted to a question about immigration. He asked, according to a source in the room and another source familiar, that Trump hold off on focusing on his border wall until after the midterm elections, but the President was noncommittal.
Heller's office declined to comment to CNN.
@burgessev: There were two questions for Trump today, and they weren’t questions at all. Heller praising Trump and Alexander talking up GOP accomplishments
@RalstonReports: After all of these leaks today about what Heller did in that meeting with GOP senators and POTUS -- fawning and begging -- I need to remind everyone: These are supposedly his friends!
@RalstonReports: Recap of Heller's performance in Trump meeting with GOP sens:
- Heller fawned over POTUS, engaged in media bashing, said POTUS "totally" agreed. Totally!
- Asked POTUS to push back until post-election policy he supposedly believes in because could hurt him politically. #NVpride
@SteveSebelius: .@SenDeanHeller reportedly asks @realDonaldTrump to postpone border wall until after the midterm elections (after which Heller will be safely re-elected).