Trump is now buying lunch for Republican senators not convinced of his innocence
President Donald Trump is hosting a special lunch at the White House today as fact witnesses continue to testify against him in his impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.
What could be the purpose of this lunch? Well, that hasn't been officially announced but we have some big clues:
Trump invited Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the only two out of three Senate Republicans who declined to sign on as co-sponsors of a GOP resolution denouncing his impeachment.
It appears, at least publicly, that Trump is trying to gain their favor. If he is going to survive this impeachment, he will need Republicans in the Senate to get his back. That is, if the House officially sends over Articles of Impeachment, which could happen.
Earlier in the day, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had enough evidence against the president already but that the hearings could continue to hear from more witnesses.
"The evidence is clear that the president has used his office for his own personal gain."
Romney swears, though, he's not going to be influenced by Trump's promises of a nice lunch.
I'm not going to be speaking about the impeachment at all," Romney told reporters just beforehand. "I'll listen like I listen to the TV, but I'm not going to make any comments."
Senator Collins, for her part, says she's not going to come to a conclusion yet and that it would be "inappropriate" for her "to reach conclusions about evidence or to comment on the proceedings in the House." She says her job is to be impartial as a juror once the Senate trial against Trump begins.
But, she and Romney can go to a special lunch with the president? It just seems so wrong.
Afterwards Romney was quoted as saying the lunch with the president was "delightful" even though the two have clashed in the past.
Romney shook Trump's hand after Trump invited him to play a role to curb vaping products, a key priority for the president.
“It was a very delightful meeting with the president and vice president and senior members of his staff and several Republican senators. We were able to talk about vaping and considered various options, and each of us spoke about our thoughts in that regard,” Romney said.
Romney described everything as "friendly and cordial” and said that Trump did try to talk about the House impeachment proceedings but swears it wasn't anything he hasn't said on television already.
He might disagree, but we call this classic jury tampering. For Trump's sake, he better hope the lunch was good.