Trump meets with Rubio, Schmitt for policy session ahead of debate

Former President Trump met Thursday with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) to run through policy and other topics that might come up at the first presidential debate later this month, multiple sources confirmed to The Hill.

Trump had what was described as a policy discussion with the two senators during his visit to Washington, where he held court with House Republicans, Senate Republicans and CEOs as part of a Business Roundtable event.

Schmitt is a close Trump ally, while Rubio is among those being vetted as a potential running mate on the Republican ticket.

The New York Times first reported on the meeting, which was at the Republican National Committee headquarters.

Aides said Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, is not engaging in traditional debate preparation ahead of his June 27 showdown with President Biden. Instead, he is holding meetings like the one Thursday with Rubio, Schmitt and members of his team to talk about potential topics that could come up.

“President Trump takes on numerous tough interviews every single week and delivers lengthy rally speeches while standing, demonstrating elite stamina,” senior Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said in a statement.

The Times reported that the Trump team talked Thursday about how the former president could respond if the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol comes up, or if he were asked about his pledge to pardon those charged in the riots that day.

Trump and Biden are set to have two debates. The first will take place June 27 in Atlanta and will be hosted by CNN. The second is scheduled for Sept. 10 in New York, hosted by ABC News.

The former president has for months pressed for debates with Biden, with Trump and his team expressing confidence that voters would be unimpressed by the incumbent’s physical stamina and mental sharpness.

But Trump has a mixed record in general election debates, and he has not debated since the 2020 election, having skipped all of the Republican primary debates in the 2024 cycle.

Biden has been traveling abroad over the past two weeks but is reportedly expected to head to Camp David for debate prep ahead of the event.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.