President Donald Trump, partial to gold and marble elegance, never took a shine to rustic Camp David. So acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney pitched him on an unusual idea at the start of the House impeachment inquiry: Use the secluded mountainous presidential retreat to woo House Republicans.

Since then, Mulvaney and top White House officials have hosted weekend getaways for Republicans at the historic lodge, seeking to butter up Republicans before the big impeachment vote. The casual itinerary includes making s’mores over the campfire, going hiking, shooting clay pigeons and schmoozing with Trump officials, some of whom stay overnight with lawmakers.

“I’ve worked with a number of Republican presidents over various administrations ... and I’ve never, ever been invited to Camp David,” said Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo. “It was amazing to go for the short weekend. So historic.”

The Camp David excursions are one prong of a broad White House charm offensive, meant to hold House and Senate Republicans in line through a House impeachment vote and a trial in the Senate that appears all but inevitable.

The systematic courting may prove to be one pivotal factor if Republican lawmakers continue to ally behind Trump, who is almost certain to become the third U.S. president in history to become impeached by the House in the coming weeks. The idea, at least for the Camp David getaways, is to make Republicans feel as if they are part of Trump’s family — and make it more difficult for them to vote in favor of impeaching him.

The administration-wide effort to court Republicans was described by 20 lawmakers, administration officials, congressional aides and others familiar with the endeavor.

In all, Trump has met with or contacted personally 100 GOP members of the House since the impeachment inquiry was launched, and 50 of the 53 Senate Republicans have attended a White House lunch.

The wooing appears to be working, particularly the Camp David effort.

Multiple lawmakers who have visited the retreat — nearly 90 miles from Washington — have described the trips as “surreal” and “incredible,” according to a half -dozen lawmakers and aides familiar with the outings. When Mulvaney first pitched the idea of turning Camp David into a weekend retreat for lawmakers, Trump was surprised, officials said. The acting chief of staff has told GOP attendees that the president didn’t see the allure, asking: “Who would want to go there?”

But it’s clear plenty of House Republicans do. Lawmakers and their spouses are given a tour of the historic grounds once they arrive, attendees said. Many are in awe over the hot tub, golf course and, in particular, who had previously stayed there, as they flip through books containing names of foreign ministers, famous White House staffers and other dignitaries who have slept in the same beds, participants said.

(28) comments

Comment deleted.
butterflygirl

The taxpayers are paying for this bribery not 45. He is not being generous except by using our money.

elmerchismo1

The defendant buys the jury.

Russian

The president’s loyalty to Russia is commendable

Russian

Would you be loyal to a nation that refused to lend you money, forced you into multiple bankruptcies and jailed your daddy? 🇷🇺 First

Comment deleted.
BunnyLou

Exactly ric, Camp David was probably where O and his bootlicks dreamed up the phony Russian hoax and the transformation of the USA to Venezuela.

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

Atta boy, spin it and divert.

threecents

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in Camp David - if only to poop in their food.

veritas

Nice.

threecents

It's a joke.[smile]

Russian

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pushed back against recent reports raising questions about his wife's immigration story.

At a rally in North Carolina, Trump said his wife, Melania, came into the country legally.

"She has got it so documented," Trump said, adding she will hold a news conference over the next few weeks to address the issue.

"They said, 'Melania Trump may have come into our country illegally' and 'how would that be for Donald Trump?'" Trump said of the media, after questions arose about when and how Melania Trump received her green card.

"Here's the only problem, she came in totally legally," he continued.

America is still waiting for the promised press conference to exonerate the daughter of a Soviet Communist

Russian

Textbook illegal alien

Melania Trump arrived in the U.S. from Slovenia on Aug. 27, 1996, on a B1/B2 visitor visa and earned $20,056 for 10 modeling jobs before she obtained her H-1B work visa on Oct. 18, 1996, according to AP.

Russian

Republicans want Americans to believe that a non church attending 73 year old morbidly obese habitual bankrupt business man with an unknown Russian financial portfolio and communist father in law is concerned about America. 😂

Alice Jones

That explains the noxious cloud hanging over camp David.

hayduke2

Tribal politics at its worse. I'll give access to Camp David for a weekend retreat, entertain you on the taxpayers dime and encourage you to remember this when the evidence is presented against me. Please put party over country in every instance.

As an aside, what a great place to have used right after being elected to bring leaders and members of both parties together to discuss ways forward and a chance to discuss issues without pressure. More of the subtle "bribery" that is a hallmark of this president.

The Grape of Wrath

Add jury tampering to the list. The real purpose of course is to concoct uniform and consistent lies for the kangaroo "trial". This was lacking in the hearings because nobody knew in advance what the witnesses would say. But now the content of the prosecution is known, the defense can prepare their packs of lies consistently.

Russian

If Trump wasn’t a puppet I’d support him. You ask me how do I know Trump is a puppet? The same way I know a young black man with a white woman in the Walmart check out line isn’t paying for the groceries.

The Grape of Wrath

Stormy and Melania will be busy this weekend.

Frayou

Thought I heard the choppers crossing overhead yesterday. Wonder who is paying for this bill? More government waste and deficit spending. Will it ever stop?

The Grape of Wrath

(a) you and I are, (b) No

Russian

This explains why all the Russian translators in Thurmont

olefool

Uh oh.... I wondered what that foul odor was coming down route 77, now I know...

bnick467

If any other American were going on trial, would they be allowed to invite members of the jury over to their house for a cookout and campfire before the trial begins? How is this not jury tampering. One of the responsibilities of these lawmakers is Presidential Oversight. How can they be expected to do their jobs when this is allowed to go on?

JeanieLagrave

So now they are defacing and desecrating Camp David. I guess corruption, and bribery take top billing and this is a good example of just how the POTUS and his staff think and operate.

gabrielshorn2013

So, it only takes a camping trip to sway their votes? Cheap date! Pass the marshmallows!

The Grape of Wrath

Their votes need no swaying; only their lies need rehearsing.

riccicc

Aw gee, you shouldn't talk about the liberals like that. After all, they are a poor misunderstood lot, they are.

Dwasserba

Yeah I can hear the sucking noise from here.

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