Donald Trump’s private meeting Thursday with Senate Republicans – designed to foster greater party unity ahead of the national convention in Cleveland — grew combative as the presumptive presidential nominee admonished three senators who have been critical of his candidacy and predicted they would lose their reelection bids, according to two Republican officials with direct knowledge of the exchanges. […]
Trump also called out Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who withdrew his endorsement of Trump last month citing the business mogul’s racially-based attacks on a federal judge, and said he did not approve of the senator’s action, said the officials.
Characterizing Kirk as a loser, Trump vowed that he would carry Illinois in the general election even though the state traditionally has been solidly Democratic in presidential contests. Kirk did not attend the meeting with Trump.
But it’s good for Kirk if you believe a spat with Trump will help.
…Adding… Sen. Kirk’s response…
“As I stated last month, I have come to the conclusion that Donald Trump lacks the judgment and temperament to lead our military and our nation.”
*** UPDATE *** AP…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
Asked about them later, Kirk told The Associated Press: “I’ve run for election six times in Illinois. Really tough races for the Congress and for the Senate and won every race. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”
On why Trump would say Kirk would lose: “I guess the bully side of him. We haven’t seen a personality like his too much in the Midwest. Eastern, privileged, wealthy bully. Our bullies are made of better stuff in Illinois. We’re much more practical and polite.”
Kirk joked that he’s not on Trump’s Christmas card list anymore.
* And speaking of the presidential race, here’s the Democratic Party of Illinois…
This morning, Republican Mark Kirk took a peculiar detour from his partisan attack on Secretary Clinton by once again stating his intention to write in disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus for President. Petraeus resigned in disgrace, had his security clearance revoked, hid classified material in his attic, and plead guilty to intentionally sharing classified information with his biographer, who was also his mistress. Kirk made the comments on a radio interview with WGN. In response, Democratic Party of Illinois spokesperson Sean Savett released the following statement:
“Is Mark Kirk serious with this? Immediately after leveling a partisan attack on Secretary Clinton, he encouraged others to join him in voting for an individual who isn’t running for President and did something the FBI said was ‘far worse’ by lying to investigators and knowingly leaking classified information, for which he plead guilty. It’s one thing for Kirk to reverse himself on supporting Donald Trump, the toxic presumptive Republican nominee who had Kirk’s support right up until his Illinois poll numbers went south — that’s just politics, and Kirk is nothing if not a typical politician. But to encourage others to throw away their votes on the disgraced former CIA director who isn’t seeking the office is absurd, and yet another reason it’s hard to take Mark Kirk seriously anymore.”
Here’s an abridged transcript of what Kirk said this morning. To listen to his full comments about Secretary Clinton and David Petraeus, click here.
COCHRAN: I share your concerns about Trump every day with people. And then I look at the alternative choice and I never thought I’d be in a position to even consider voting for Hillary Clinton. And yet here we are with those being our two main choices. I don’t know what to say to people when they say every day, ‘Well, what are we supposed to do?’
KIRK: Cochran, I got a way out for you. I’m gonna, I’m gonna write in Petraeus when I vote. And I encourage you too. I want to see Petraeus get a lot of votes so that just shows that there are thinking people out there that are really concerned about the security of the United States. Thinking that someone who has an outstanding potential as Commander-in-Chief and can be, should be, our new leader. With these two choices that you almost think it’s Tweedle-Dee Dumb and Tweedle-Dee bad.
Write-in votes aren’t counted in Illinois if the candidate isn’t registered in each county. It’s a complete waste of effort and Kirk undoubtedly knows it.
* On the Petraeus front, here’s FBI Director James Comey today…
But Petraeus clearly did show evidence of intentionally violating the law, Comey said.
Not only was Petraeus caught on tape telling his mistress and biographer that there was “code word stuff” in the “highly classified” material he slipped to her, the retired general also lied about a cache of classified material he had hidden in his attic, Comey said, comprising obstruction of justice and further evidence that he “knew what he was doing was a violation of the law.”
“We found [the classified materials] in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic, and then he lied to us about it during the investigation.”
“That is the perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted,” Comey said. “In my mind, it illustrates perfectly the distinction between this case.”