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House's No. 2 Republican drops by Mar-a-Lago amid GOP divide over Trump

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 66.9%. 1 min read.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, privately met with former President Donald Trump in Florida earlier this week, the latest example of the splintering views among leading congressional Republicans on the role Trump plays in the party going forward.

Washington (CNN)Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, privately met with former President Donald Trump in Florida earlier this week, the latest example of the splintering views among leading congressional Republicans on the role Trump plays in the party going forward.

"He's in Florida this week on political travel and had meetings at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday and touched base with President Trump while he was there," Scalise's spokeswoman Lauren Fine told CNN.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also visited with Trump at Mar-a-Lago a few weeks ago and most House Republicans -- with the notable exception of GOP conference chair Liz Cheney -- view Trump as a force in the party.

But Trump's support is less pronounced in the Senate, where GOP leader Mitch McConnell and John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican who faces reelection in South Dakota next year, have both worked to distance themselves from the former President in recent weeks.

On Tuesday -- the same day Scalise visited Trump -- the former President launched a public war against McConnell for his floor remarks, writing in a statement that he is "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack. "

McConnell has made the calculation that he's done with the former President and is moving on, sources close to the GOP leader have told CNN, and he has no plans to respond to Trump's blistering attack.

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