This week President Donald Trump came to Fargo in support of U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer. In doing so he took a narrative crafted by incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp, one which supposed that the President likes her more, and threw it in the trash.
But yesterday evening Senator Heitkamp was on social media promoting a meeting she had with President Trump about the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice. To hear Heitkamp herself describe the meeting it’s as if it were all orchestrated strictly for her benefit:
This evening I met with President Trump at @WhiteHouse. As I said, if the president wants to meet with me, I’m ready to participate and advocate for North Dakota. And that’s exactly what happened today. pic.twitter.com/LNOsIwSbTf
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) June 29, 2018
The replies to that tweet from Heitkamp’s liberal base are interesting, to say the least. If you don’t think this tactic of cozying up to Trump this election year is costing her liberal votes, think again.
Anyway, some in the press also reported on Heitkamp’s meeting with Trump as if it were a one-on-one affair. Reading this article, for instance, you get the idea that it was just Heitkamp and the President. And I’m sure that was the story angle Heitkamp’s people were pitching.
That wasn’t how it was, though. Trump met with a group of Senators – both Republicans and Democrats – who are seen as key votes on any new appointment to the Supreme Court:
(CNN)President Donald Trump met with key senators at the White House on Thursday as the administration goes into a full-court press to nominate and confirm a new Supreme Court justice before the midterm elections next fall.
Trump met with three red-state Democrats who are all facing tough re-election fights this year: Sens. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly, of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp, of North Dakota. The meetings came a day after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he’ll retire on July 31. The White House plans to nominate a new justice by July 9, CNN reported earlier Thursday.
Trump also met with Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, Susan Collins, of Maine, and Chuck Grassley, of Iowa. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s team also talked with a dozen other senators.
I understand that Heitkamp is desperate to promote the idea of some sort of special relationship between her and the President, but misleading the public about the nature of this meeting is bordering on pathetic.