Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is reportedly set to meet with former President Donald Trump at his private club in Palm Beach, Fla. — the first member of Senate GOP leadership to do so as tensions simmer between some Republican leaders and Trump.
Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told the Miami Herald on Thursday he intends to focus on his goal to take back the upper chamber majority in 2022. The Washington Post was the first to report the meeting.
“I want to be an additive, I want us all to row the boats in the same direction,” Scott told the Miami Herald. “My goal is to tell the [former] president what I’m doing. I’ve talked to him, and he tells me he wants to be helpful to me. He’s committed to Republicans taking back a majority in the U.S. Senate.”
But Trump has vowed to travel to Alaska to defeat GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial but the only one who is on the ballot in 2022.
“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski,” Trump said in a recent statement. “She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
Scott told the Miami Herald the NRSC however won’t get involved in Republican Senate primaries, noting that “every Republican endorsed my opponent” during his first gubernatorial race that he won in 2010.
“I don’t have a plan on getting involved in primaries in open seats,” Scott told the Miami Herald. “I’m going to support all incumbent senators. I’m very comfortable that voters will choose good candidates.”
Trump has also found himself at odds with the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and NRSC over fundraising.
His lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to all of them last week demanding they stop using his name and image in fundraising appeals.
Trump had issued a statement urging donors to direct contributions to his leadership PAC Save America rather than to the GOP’s political committees. But he reversed course, saying he’d support the Republican Party and its affiliated groups, but would work to withhold money from so-called RINOs, or Republicans in name only.
“I fully support the Republican Party and important GOP Committees, but I do not support RINOs and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds,” Trump said.
Trump has met with a handful congressional allies at his Mar-a-Lago estate since leaving the White House in January, but the upcoming meeting is the first since the fundraising flap.
Scott, a former Florida governor, was an early endorser of Trump’s presidential ambitions, throwing his support behind the real estate mogul’s campaign in 2015, The Hill noted.
And as a senator, Scott has remained loyal to Trump. He was one of only eight senators to challenge the certification of the Electoral College results in January after a mob of the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
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