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Reed, Collins have 'candid, direct' meeting with Trump

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Reed came away from a White House meeting Thursday reassured that there's nothing more to the issue that recently led to the firing of President Trump's national security adviser: contacts between the Trump team and Russian officials.

"I am very confident after talking to the president personally and candidly that there's just nothing there on the Russia issue," said Reed, R-Corning.

Reed was one of several early Trump supporters from the House who met with the president Thursday morning. Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence, the first House member to endorse Trump nearly a year ago, organized the meeting.

Reed said he left the meeting thinking that the controversy over possible Russian contacts will not go beyond Trump's firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump let Flynn go after it because clear that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about discussions Flynn had with Russia's ambassador to the United States regarding sanctions against Russia.

Trump made it clear during the meeting that he's concerned that sensitive information had leaked out of the White House.

"He said he would get to the bottom of it," Reed said. "It's the leaking of classified information, a real national security risk."

Reed said the meeting covered a range of topics.

"It was a very candid, direct conversation," which took place in part in the Oval Office, Reed said. "When the president of the United States gives you an hour of his time, it's vitally important. We were focused on the broader agenda, on long-term relationship building."

Rep. Chris Collins organized a meeting at the White House today with President Trump. Rep. Tom Reed was among the attendees.

Collins, in a statement, said the president spoke about the importance of quickly passing legislation funding his infrastructure program, reforming health care and reforming the tax code.

“Today’s meeting demonstrated the loyalty President Trump has for the people that stood with him from the beginning," Collins said. "I spoke with President Trump last week. He mentioned getting the group of early endorsers to the White House, and I was happy to facilitate today’s meeting. It was an honor to meet with the president in the White House."

Collins said he looks forward to this being the first of many meetings he will have with the president, adding that he will continue to tell Trump about issues that are important to Western New Yorkers.

"President Trump has delivered on promise after promise so far during his presidency," Collins added in the statement.

The press was invited to the opening of the meeting, which can be seen here.

During the opening of the meeting, Collins – who sat just to the president's left – said: "This is the Trump caucus reconvening and we're just so honored that you would take time out of your busy schedule to be with us."

Trump, meanwhile, lauded the lawmakers for supporting him.

"You folks have been so great, right from the beginning," Trump said.

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