Trump Touts ‘Tremendous Unity’ Inside GOP After Capitol Visit

Joseph Lord
By Joseph Lord
June 13, 2024Donald Trump

WASHINGTON—Former President Donald Trump on June 13 met with House and Senate Republicans during a visit to Washington.

The former president began his day at the Capitol Hill Club, just outside of the Capitol grounds, where he addressed the majority of the House Republican conference.

Protesters, supporters, and press alike congregated outside the building, though the former president made no public remarks there.

Former President Trump also delivered remarks to Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters just down the road from the Capitol. Later, he plans to deliver remarks to the Business Roundtable.

“There’s tremendous unity in the Republican Party,” former President Trump said at a press conference after his meeting with Senate Republicans.

“We want to see borders, we want to see strong military, we want to see money not wasted all over the world,” he said.

The presumptive GOP nominees’ visit comes one day after House Republicans voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt for failing to hand over tapes of President Joe Biden’s interviews with special counsel Robert Hur. Mr. Garland and Democrats dismissed the move as a partisan attack.

The former president’s remarks to the House Republican conference largely echoed the statements he has made on the campaign trail.

According to lawmakers leaving the meeting, he made no specific requests of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) or the conference as a whole.

The energetic conversation, according to Republicans, touched on an array of issues: election strategy, divisions within the conference, immigration, the economy, abortion, tariffs and taxation, and allegations of a weaponized justice system.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told The Epoch Times that the former president and the Republican conference discussed “deportation, getting [the Keystone XL pipeline] opened back up, oil flowing and getting inflation down, cutting taxes.”

“He hit everything, he really did, that’s the most energized I’ve ever seen him,” the House Freedom Caucus member said.

Near the start of the meeting, former President Trump chided Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), an outspoken critic of Mr. Johnson, asking, “Marjorie, are you being nice to Speaker Johnson?”

That comment referred to Ms. Greene’s effort last month to remove Mr. Johnson from his position as speaker, using the same mechanism that ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) in October 2023.

Ms. Greene told reporters that she answered the former president with a sheepish “Yeah,” interpreting the question largely as a lighthearted joke.

Former President Trump has on multiple occasions indicated his support for Mr. Johnson.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of former President Trump’s closest allies in the House, said that election strategy was also discussed during the meeting.

“President Trump talked about his specific strategies he was going to use to ensure that Trump voters show up in November, and that they go all the way down to ticket,” Mr. Gaetz said.

He added that former President Trump’s goal is to ensure Republicans win down-ballot victories through holding, among other means, 100 “telephone town halls for members.”

Additionally, Mr. Gaetz said that the former president “lamented the fact that we’re sending $60 billion to Ukraine, and we’re not paying our troops more.”

Former President Trump also hit on his allegations of weaponization at the Department of Justice.

“So he went over that and he laughed,” Mr. Norman said. “He said they think they’re doubling down on it, let them keep doing it. He’s raising money. People sense an injustice is going on.”

Mr. Garland has forcefully hit back at Republican claims of political prosecutions, particularly targeting former President Trump. He said earlier this week the department has seen a rise in attacks as a result of such claims that have become “dangerous for our democracy.”

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) also confirmed that former President Trump floated an idea to replace income taxation with import tariffs.

In the early days of the Republic, this was the source of most of the federal government’s revenue.

However, Ms. Malliotakis expressed doubt that this could be achieved, as income taxation now makes up a substantial share of government revenue.

Additionally, former President Trump reiterated his pledge to end taxation on income from tips, which Ms. Malliotakis said would come as part of an upcoming revamping of the tax code.

With Trump-era tax cuts to expire at the end of next year, Congress and the next administration will be looking to set key reforms to tax policy.

From The Epoch Times