Different Republican flow in the Senate from the House Republicans….
Many GOP senators still speak regularly with Trump as he asserts outsized influence in party primaries and this fall’s battle for control of the chamber. In fact, most Republicans are still hesitant to say anything on the record that might put them in the crosshairs of their presumed 2024 frontrunner — which explains the reluctance to address why they decided not to see him in the Sunshine State.
Some Republicans who traveled to Florida for the National Republican Senatorial Committee event said they weren’t snubbing Trump, who has pushed in vain to depose Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and would be visiting with him soon. And several wouldn’t be welcome, since some senators who voted to convict the president at his second impeachment trial were among those wooing donors at the NRSC events.
But other Republicans said hanging out with their onetime commander-in-chief is the furthest thing from their minds.
“I went down there to meet with National Republican Senatorial Committee supporters and honestly never even gave it a thought,” said Sen. Mike Rounds(R-S.D.), whom Trump has called a “jerk” for saying the 2020 election was fairly decided….
Rounds is one of a handful of members speaking more freely in a 50-member Senate GOP that’s now at a crossroads, especially compared to the far more Trump-friendly House Republicans. Led by McConnell, who’s single-mindedly focused on taking back the Senate, Republicans are yet again treading carefully with Trump — and, in some cases, quietly tiptoeing away from him….
The group of senators invited to the NRSC event at The Breakers ranged from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who voted to convict the president of inciting an insurrection, to Trump stalwarts such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The Trump event happened on Friday afternoon, before the NRSC program officially began, so senators may have had scheduling conflicts.
But some Republicans said they had a very clear takeaway about an event they believed would have welcomed far more than the trio of Republicans that attended.
“Over 20 senators down there. … They had an event at the property with the president attending, and only three went. I guess you can draw your own conclusions,” said a second Senate Republican who went to Florida and was granted anonymity. “Everybody can draw their own interpretations but certainly, given the number of people down there, you can’t argue it was a really well attended event.”…..