Sen. Ben Sasse has finally met the man he refuses to endorse for president.
Sasse was among the Republican United States senators who attended a meeting Thursday on Capitol Hill with presumptive Republicans presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Sasse, though a vocal critic of Trump, decided to go to the meeting.
“So, I didn’t know Mr. Trump,” Sasse tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “So I went there to meet him and to listen to him. I was happy to be in a listening posture. And we had a gracious exchange. It was the first time that we had ever been in the room together.”
Sasse took criticism from Trump as did two other Republican senators who have refused to endorse him. Trump was critical of Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. Media reports say Flake stood up to Trump, urging him to tone down his rhetoric against Mexicans. Kirk did not attend the meeting.
A spokesman for Sasse says that while Trump discussed the possibility of Democrat Hillary Clinton appointing numerous Supreme Court justices, he suggested that Sasse surely wouldn’t want that.
The only exchange the two had, according to the spokesman, was at the beginning of the meeting when Sasse introduced himself to Trump and they had that “gracious exchange.”
Sasse remains critical of both Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying he doesn’t believe the presidential election is focused on the right things. The meeting with Trump didn’t change his mind.
Sen. Deb Fischer also attended the meeting. She declined during a conference call with Nebraska reporters to go into detail about the private meeting, but said she did get to ask Trump a question and he gave a thorough response.
Fischer said, overall, Republicans came away from the meeting with a more favorable impression of their candidate.
“In my conversations with my colleagues when we left, I would say the more times we’re able to have a conversation with Mr. Trump, the more comfortable everyone becomes.”
Trump also met with House Republicans.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]