President Trump cried “Fake News” this past weekend in a tweet regarding reports of communication and a meeting between his presidential campaign and a Russian lawyer intent on interfering in the 2016 election. And in true Dean Heller fashion, Nevada’s senior U.S. Senator quickly refused to answer a question about those tweets from the Reno Gazette-Journal and promptly ended that interview. Heller falsely claimed that he doesn’t respond to tweets—even though Heller personally thanked Trump for tweeting in support of his re-election bid in order to push out a competitive primary challenger.
This comes just days after Heller literally slammed a car door in a reporter’s face after being asked about the Mueller investigation. It’s become clear Heller won’t do or say anything that could hurt his efforts to cozy up to President Trump.
TRANSCRIPT (WATCH HERE)
RGJ: And my last question. Every Republican that’s been running for office obviously gets questions about the president. Do you have any comments at all about the tweet from the last weekend about the Trump Tower meeting? Or?
HELLER: Yeah, I don’t respond to tweets. [Laughs] Thanks, alright.
Reno Gazette-Journal: Heller talks close Senate race, asked about president’s latest Trump Tower tweet
One subject that the Republican senator did not want to talk about? President Donald Trump’s latest tweet over the weekend about the Trump Tower meeting between son Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
“I don’t respond to tweets,” Heller said during an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Not Heller’s first no comment on Trump’s tweets
Heller, who is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the November elections, is in a battle with Rosen to draw votes from independent and undecided voters, who will likely play a crucial role in picking the winner of Nevada’s upcoming U.S. Senate race.
Heller, however, also needs the support of Trump’s base to counter energized Democratic voters, tying his fortunes to a president known for making controversial statements. Republican lawmakers and candidates such as Heller are often asked about that dynamic.
Just last Wednesday, CNN reporter Manu Raju tried to ask Heller about Trump’s latest effort to ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller probe as the Nevada senator was getting into his car. Heller did not acknowledge the question, Raju said in a tweet.
On Sunday, Trump reignited the debate over the gathering held in June 2016 at Trump Tower after mentioning in a tweet that it “was a meeting to get information on an opponent.”
The tweet was made on the same day that a Washington Post article ran, stating that Trump was concerned about son Donald Trump Jr. — something the president described as “fake news” in his tweet. When news about the Trump Tower meeting was reported initially in 2017, Donald Trump Jr. released a statement saying it was not about getting information on Hillary Clinton but about discussing the issue of child adoptions.