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Jul 7, 2016 2:15 PM

Guinta among House Republicans who met Trump; Ayotte doesn't make GOP Senate meeting

NH1 News Political Director

WASHINGTON – Rep. Frank Guinta was one of the approximate 200 U.S. House Republicans to meet Thursday with Donald Trump.

But Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the other GOP member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, was not part of the group of Republican senators who met with their party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Trump held back-to-back meetings with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, as he tried to rally members of his own party as part of his attempt to unify the GOP ahead of national convention in Cleveland, which begins on July 18.

First up was the meeting with House Republicans.

Guinta, the two-term representative in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, said in a statement to NH1 News that "House Republicans had the opportunity this morning to meet with Donald Trump to discuss the state of the Presidential election. As I said in my endorsement of him in May, he has demonstrated, and did so again today, why he's the best candidate to address the big problems facing New Hampshire: drugs crossing the U.S. border, our military veterans, and an economy that still hasn't recovered during eight years of the Obama Administration.”

“Because Hillary Clinton, who promises to continue the President's failed agenda, would be a national security disaster too, I endorsed Trump for office and am glad my colleagues and I got a chance to meet with him today,” Guinta added.

Guinta, who’s trying to rebound from last year’s campaign contribution controversy, is facing a serious primary challenge from Bedford businessman and former BAE Systems executive Rich Ashooh, who lost to Guinta a 2010 primary showdown.

Ashooh appears to be keeping some distance from Trump. Asked in an interview with NH1 News a month ago whether he would support or endorse Trump, the candidate said “elections are about choice, right? So in a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there should be no mystery. I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton.”

Discussing Trump’s meeting with House Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said “this was the first time just about every one of our members had the chance to meet and engage with Donald Trump. So I thought it was great that he came, I'm glad that he accepted our invitation. And we had a very good exchange on just lost of ideas and lots of policy issues, so I thought it was a very good meeting.”

Ryan, who recently endorsed Trump after weeks of consideration, has been very vocal when he's disagreed with controversial comments or statements from Trump.

After meeting with House Republicans, Trump held what’s being described by some as a contentious get-together with some Senate Republicans.

Ayotte, who’s also kept some distance from her party’s presumptive nominee, did not attend the meeting. She was taking part in Senate Armed Services committee hearing. As she runs for re-election, Ayotte is being challenged by Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, in one of the most high-profile, expensive and negative U.S. Senate races in the country.

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