Donald Trump met with Republican senator Jeff Sessions and former governor Sarah Palin this afternoon in Sessions’s hideaway in the Capitol basement.
Trump and Palin were in Washington, D.C. Wednesday to speak at a rally against the Iran nuclear deal, where they appeared on the same stage as senator Ted Cruz.
As Trump left the rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol, Trump ascended the steps, flanked by a phalanx of body guards, and was met halfway up by Sessions. The Alabama senator has been one of the most outspoken members of the Senate on the subject of immigration, and he helped Trump craft the immigration policy plan he released last month.
The two then proceeded to Sessions’s hideaway for a closed-door chat. Just before 3 p.m., Sarah Palin, who was also speaking at the rally, entered the room. Shortly thereafter, Sessions emerged.
Sessions told reporters they had discussed trade and immigration, and that the meeting happened because Trump was appearing at the rally and it “worked out conveniently.” He said Palin stopped by because she was also at the rally.
Sessions was careful to say that he has “not endorsed anyone” for president, and that the meeting was not a tacit endorsement of Trump. He has never endorsed anyone since entering the Senate, but asked if that might change this year, he replied: “I’ll never say never.”
Palin and Trump, a former vice presidential candidate and a presidential hopeful, continued meeting in the basement of the Capitol for several minutes after Sessions left. At 3:05 p.m., Trump emerged to speak to reporters. Palin remained in the room.
“The meeting was great!” Trump told reporters. “She’s a terrific person, and we met with the senator. We talked about immigration, we talked about trade.”
Asked if he was seeking Palin’s endorsement, he demurred.
“Sarah’s been a friend of mine for a long time and her family, terrific person. . . . She loves the job we’re doing, she just said the crowd we drew outside was incredible,” he said. He added that Palin had told him much of the crowd at the rally left after Trump delivered his remarks.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated since its initial publication.