Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is expected to visit with top GOP congressional leaders soon, according to multiple congressional sources familiar with discussions about his campaign’s next steps.
On Friday morning, Trump confirmed he intended to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan next week, but wasn’t sure what they’d talk about.
“I have absolutely no idea,” Trump said of the conversation topic. “There are a lot of days before that.”
The billionaire businessman became the presumptive nominee with just a small group of Hill backers, but now that the divisive primary process is over his campaign team and supporters in Congress are hoping more Republicans will publicly come around and help in the fall election.
Scott Mason, a Trump campaign staffer, met Thursday in Washington with roughly a dozen top chiefs of staff of members of Congress who have already endorsed Trump. They discussed plans for Trump to meet with key congressional Republican leaders, as well and other rank-and-file members interested in hearing about campaign strategy on Capitol Hill.
One aide told CNN the campaign is working on a series of meetings “sooner rather than later” sometime in May, but no firm date or time has been locked down yet.
Rick Dearborn, chief of staff to Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, a close Trump ally, has been making calls to Republicans, including to top leadership offices.
Much of the discussion at Thursday’s session was about the need for the party to unite around Trump.
“There’s excitement after Indiana that things are moving forward, but there’s work to be done on unification. We’re moving into a general election mindset,” one senior congressional aide who attended the meeting told CNN.
Trump is planning a series of policy speeches on a range of issues including the economy, infrastructure, health care and the judiciary. His campaign is tapping into the expertise of members of Congress who serve on various committees dealing with these issues as he prepares to roll out details on his proposals in coming weeks.
The Trump campaign had already set up weekly meetings with supporters in Congress at the Capitol Hill Club, and these have included discussions with top advisers Paul Manafort and Ed Brookover. The outreach has stepped up in recent days with daily conference calls among those backing Trump, many of whom are appearing as surrogates on television, so they can get updates on what the campaign is doing.