Trump met with ex-Clinton pollster Mark Penn to discuss impeachment
President Donald Trump, facing the prospect of impeachment, met last week with Mark Penn, the former pollster and political strategist to Bill Clinton.
Trump met with Penn in the Oval Office last Monday alongside Vice President Mike Pence and adviser Kellyanne Conway, two sources familiar with the meeting said. During the meeting, Penn went over polling data and doled out impeachment advice to Trump.
He advised Trump not to respond to every aspect of the impeachment proceedings and counseled him to follow Clinton’s political lead by focusing on his day job of governing and traveling the country while impeachment consumes Washington.
The Washington Post first reported on the Trump-Penn meeting.
Penn went to the White House at the urging of Andrew Stein, a friend of Trump’s and a former New York City Council president, who also attended the meeting.
“I asked him to go and talk to the President,” Stein told CNN.
Stein said Trump listened intently as Penn went over polling data and shared some advice stemming from his experience with the Clinton impeachment, but that he was unsure Trump would follow the advice.
“Donald is his own adviser,” Stein said. “But he’s asking a lot of people for their advice.”
Penn told CNN that the meeting did not mean he was working for Trump or advising him going forward.
“I am not in any way working for Donald Trump and not counseling him,” Penn said in an email on Tuesday.
Still, the meeting is not the first time Trump and Penn have met. Penn visited Trump at the White House in February alongside Stein, The New York Times reported at the time.
Though he is a former Clinton adviser, Penn has drifted to the right in recent years. He has publicly praised Trump and was a vocal critic of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.