Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association, has not shied away from criticizing Trump since deciding not to run. He backed the impeachment inquiry in October, saying he was concerned by reports of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and wanted to get all the facts.
He told Politico he would meet with Trump on Friday night ahead of a dinner that is part of the association’s winter conference, which began Friday in the District and runs through Monday. He said he will sit next to Trump at a dinner Sunday at the White House, where Trump will introduce Hogan, and Hogan will give a toast.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Hogan said with a laugh.
On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges related to his conduct toward Ukraine.
A Gallup poll released Tuesday — the day of Trump’s third State of the Union address — showed his approval rating at a record high 49 percent. His approval rating among Republicans was 94 percent, according to the poll.
Hogan, who easily won a second term in 2018, said Friday that he did not see a viable path to win the GOP presidential nomination, although he thinks “there are an awful lot of people in America who probably would agree with a lot of the things I’ve been saying and doing, who are moderate, more middle of the road.”
The governor said the president has “been cordial and friendly when I see him.”
“He’s not tweeting about me,” Hogan said. “We’ll agree to disagree sometimes.”
In the interview, he referred to his father, who as a Maryland congressman was the first GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee to call for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. The elder Hogan also consistently called for “a fair and objective hearing,” his son said, in which Nixon had the right to call witnesses and provide a defense.
“I’m very frustrated,” Hogan said. “I don’t think the House process was fair and objective, and I don’t think the Senate was, and I think it’s over. I think most people in America are, after three years, kind of sick and tired of hearing about it, and I don’t think Congress did their job, but the American people will.”