President Donald Trump talked about the thaw in his once-icy relationship with Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller on Thursday night.
“We weren’t friends. I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me,” Trump said at his Las Vegas rally of their initial relationship. “And as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not, we started to respect each other, then we started to like each other, then we started to love each other.”
The relationship between Trump and Heller started cold: Heller was a Trump critic during the 2016 campaign. Then, Heller famously tanked an early version of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal, announcing his opposition at a news conference alongside popular Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. But, GOP sources said, the two began warming to each other when Heller rode with Trump on Air Force One to Las Vegas following the mass shooting there last fall. Then Heller was a leading advocate for Trump’s tax bill.
“He’s always been there. We can count on his vote,” Trump said of him Thursday night.
Then he brought him out on stage.