President-elect Donald Trump held a surprise private meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at Trump Tower on Tuesday, sparking a whirlwind of speculation.
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Independent Journal Review in a statement that Trump and Cruz “discussed how he can best help the new administration advance conservative policies through the Senate.” The statement continued:
“Sen. Cruz is pleased to have the opportunity to meet with President-elect Trump in New York today. The American people issued a clear mandate to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, repeal Obamacare and start over with cost-effective, patient-centered health care reform, appoint constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court, secure our southern border and enforce immigration laws, and enact policies that will create more good-paying jobs for the American people. On behalf of the 27 million Texans he represents, the senator looks forward to assisting the Trump Administration in achieving these objectives.”
But then new reports surfaced hours later suggesting Trump is considering nominating Cruz for attorney general, the top law enforcement official in the United States.
SCOOP: Trump is discussing TED CRUZ for AG
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 16, 2016
A “person familiar with the matter” confirmed to Bloomberg that Trump is actively considering the option. It’s unclear whether the topic was brought up during Tuesday’s meeting.
The development is particularly interesting, as Trump’s relationship with Cruz has been complicated, at best.
During a brutal Republican primary season, Trump nicknamed Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and encouraged conspiracy theories about the Texas senator’s father by linking him to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He also retweeted an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife.
Cruz later withheld his endorsement during a speech at the Republican National Convention, telling voters instead to vote their conscience. When asked about the controversial move, Cruz blasted Trump for attacking his family.
However, Cruz would ultimately offer a lukewarm endorsement of Trump, which he framed as a means to stop the “disaster” of Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Despite the two men’s differences, Cruz has since vowed to fight for policy victories for conservatives under a Trump administration.