But in many of those meetings, details were an afterthought, according to multiple people present.
“Staff was for details, Trump was for closing,” said one senior congressional aide. When it came to details, Trump “didn’t know, didn’t care, or both.”
He didn’t answer their specific questions about the bill, according to three members of Congress who attended the meetings. He didn’t offer any arguments for why they should support the legislation other than to give him his first legislative victory.
Trump repeatedly focused instead on the politics of the broader situation, the people said. In the Oval Office, he quizzed the Republicans about the margin of victory in their districts last fall. His victory, not theirs.
“He did very little to say why we should vote ‘yes,’ ” one Republican member of Congress said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating the White House. “He kept talking about his damn election.”