Gov. Haslam, other GOP governors meet with Donald Trump - WSMV News 4

Gov. Haslam, other GOP governors meet with Donald Trump

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Gov. Bill Haslam speaks to members of the press on June 15. (WSMV) Gov. Bill Haslam speaks to members of the press on June 15. (WSMV)

Governor Bill Haslam joined five other Republican governors Tuesday in a meeting with Donald Trump.

Haslam said he helped organize the meeting to talk about things that matter most to states like education.

Haslam said the subject of conversation did sometimes turn toward the importance of Republican politicians uniting behind a nominee.

In the past, Haslam has asked Trump for a more blatant disavowal of white supremacist groups, a stronger stand against abortion and a change in some of his rhetoric.

“When you’re in elected office, words matter, particularly when you’re running for the most powerful office in the world,” said Haslam. “It’s not been a secret there have been things I haven’t agreed with. It’s also no secret that’s not who my pick was.”

In ads that ran just before the Tennessee primary, Haslam endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Several of us expressed a real concern that what we say and how we say it matters,” said Haslam, referring to the meeting with Trump. “What a lot of us said was, ‘We’re at the point where we need to bring all the Republicans onto the ship that you can.’”

Haslam has still not endorsed Trump.

“We never even talked about it,” he said. “He asked me, ‘What do you think will happen in Tennessee?’ I said, ‘I think you’ll win.’ Then the conversation moved on.”

In the days since the shootings in Orlando, FL, Trump has again called for a temporary ban on Muslim people immigrating into the country. He repeated that message at a rally in Atlanta on Wednesday after referencing the weekend’s violence.

“We have people coming in, and do not kid yourself, that’s what they believe,” Trump said. “That’s what they want. That’s what they practice, and we’re taking them in.”

Haslam repeated his opposition to the proposed ban Wednesday.

“Do I disagree that we should ban all Muslims from entering the country? Yes, I disagree on that strongly,” he said.

The meeting of governors Tuesday follow statements made by Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who claimed he’s offered encouragement to Trump and has been discouraged by the results. On that subject, Haslam said words matter and Corker agrees with him on that.

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