DesJarlais finds Trump ‘very cordial and friendly’

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais says the Donald Trump who showed up for a luncheon with a small group of Republican officials on Monday was a lot different from the bombastic and confrontational candidate that voters often see on the campaign trail, reports Michael Collins.

“Sometimes on TV with the media and with a lot of the negative media swirling around the Trump campaign, it’s hard to know what you’re getting,” DesJarlais said. “I found in person he was very cordial and friendly.”

DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg Republican who has endorsed Trump for president, was among a handful of Republicans on Capitol Hill invited to attend the roundtable luncheon with the GOP front-runner.

The purpose of the meeting was to talk about building party unity, DesJarlais said. Trump made a few opening remarks and then went around the room and asked each of the participants to give their feedback.

DesJarlais would not disclose what he told Trump. But he described the meeting as an “open forum” and “very productive.”

“Mr. Trump is realizing that there is certainly an anti-Trump movement within the Washington establishment,” he said. But, “it’s pretty clear he’s the frontrunner. And I think the Washington establishment has got to come to grips with the fact that he’s probably going to be our party’s nominee.”

Monday’s meeting will more than likely be “a stepping stone” for Trump to reach out to other members of Congress and the GOP political establishment, DesJarlais said.