In Their Own Words: Trump’s House Republican Sidekicks

By: Meredith Kelly


The DCCC’s unprecedented seven-figure advertising campaign is hitting airwaves today, making the case to voters that Paul Ryan and House Republicans have put their Party over the country in standing by Donald Trump.

Now, in the days following their warm embrace of Trump at the Capitol Hill Club last Thursday, House Republicans themselves are highlighting how they’re truly the Sidekicks to the schoolyard bully, embracing Trump’s rock bottom Standards and emboldening his attacks on people, including Latinos, women, veterans, people with disabilities and so many other Americans.

Where Senate Republicans apparently had a testy exchange with Mr. Trump, House Republicans are haggling over whether their nominee got two – or was it three? – standing ovations during their meeting, and even parroting Trump’s talking points from the meeting. According to an attendee, Trump told House Republicans that they “gotta say great things,” and not two hours later, Paul Ryan glowed that “we had a great meeting. I thought he did a great job.”

“House Republicans have stood by Donald Trump through his attacks on Americans from all walks of life,” said Meredith Kelly of the DCCC. “By welcoming him with open arms at their cozy, ‘upbeat’ meeting with Trump last week, Paul Ryan and House Republicans are proving they are truly the sidekicks to Trump, the Republican Party’s own schoolyard bully of a standard-bearer.”



  • Washington Post: “‘It would great if you could say we had an unbelievable meeting. ‘Trump loves us. We love Trump.’ It’s going to be so good. Okay?’’ Trump said, according to a detailed account from a person who attended the meeting. ‘Honestly, if we could say it is great, we have a unified party, I’ll tell you what, you are going to see a difference immediately. That’s what I’m going to say.’ . . . ‘You gotta say great things. Any little negativity that you have, they are going to blow it up twentyfold. You’ve got to be positive.””


COMPARE: House Republicans

  • Washington Post:Trump was greeted by applause from more than 200 House GOP members at the standing-room-only gathering, according to GOP aides, and was introduced at the event by financial commentator and TV personality Larry Kudlow.”
  • CNN: “The clash with Flake contrasted with the goodwill that Trump seemed to engender during his earlier meeting with House Republicans, many of whom said they were encouraged by Trump’s more subdued and presidential tone.”
  • Washington Post: “. . . most House Republicans emerging from the meeting seemed to follow Trump’s cue and praised the encounter.”
  • New York Times: “The tense exchanges with the senators followed a more upbeat session with House members who met with Mr. Trump at the Capitol Hill Club.”
  • New York Times: “Representative John Mica, Republican of Florida, emerged from the meeting saying Mr. Trump had been greeted favorably by House Republicans, who gave him “two or three” standing ovations while he was present.


House Republican Sidekicks:

  • Speaker Paul Ryan: “We had a great meeting. I thought he did a great job engaging with our members…We clearly have a presumptive nominee who wants to work with us.”
  • Rep. Bill Flores: “If you look at the trajectory of his unforced errors, he’s getting better. I mean, he’s not where we want him to be, but he’s getting better.”
  • Rep. Pete Sessions: “There’re a lot of things people are going to learn about Trump, and they are going to be very, very pleased.”
  • Rep. Peter King: “He basically said he would be everywhere from now to election day. It was actually probably Donald Trump at his best.”
  • Rep. Sean Duffy: “He was engaging. I think there’s a better comfort level to actually hear from the man in person. It’s apparent that he wants to fight for the same things we all want to fight for.”
  • Rep. Frank Guinta: “House Republicans had the opportunity this morning to meet with Donald Trump to discuss the state of the Presidential election. As I said in my endorsement of him in May, he has demonstrated, and did so again today, why he’s the best candidate to address the big problems facing New Hampshire.”


CONTRAST: Senate Republicans

  • Washington Post: “Trump, seeking GOP unity, has tense meeting with Senate Republicans.”
  • New York Times: “Donald Trump Holds Tense Talks With Senate Republicans.”
  • Washington Post: Trump’s most tense exchange was with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has been vocal in his concerns about the business mogul’s candidacy, especially his rhetoric and policies on immigration that the senator argues alienate many Latino voters and others in Arizona. When Flake stood up and introduced himself, Trump told him, ‘You’ve been very critical of me.’ ‘Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that,’ Flake responded, according to two Republican officials. Flake was referencing Trump’s comments last summer about the military service of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero because he was captured.”
  • New York Times: “Some doubters, including Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, did attend and, according to people with knowledge of their exchanges, Mr. Trump did not appreciate being confronted about his past statements.”