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Trump Ricketts

Gov. Pete Ricketts (left) listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with governors and lawmakers in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Thursday in Washington.

President Donald Trump and Gov. Pete Ricketts engaged in a light-hearted exchange during last week's meeting in the White House about the importance of agricultural trade to farm states.

Ricketts lined up in support of Trump's bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination only after Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was ousted from the race by Trump's decisive victory in the Indiana presidential primary election a week before Nebraska's primary.

Here's last week's exchange:

Trump: "Hello, Pete. Good job you're doing. Nebraska, folks. Doing a good job. He never liked me until we met. (Laughter) Right? He was a Never Trumper. And his family."

Ricketts: "No, that was my brother, Todd. (Laughter)

Trump: "No, the whole family. (Laughter) And then I flew to Nebraska -- a state I love -- I made a speech and he liked me.  And from then on, he called his brother -- he said, 'Trump is good. Let's be friends.' Then we became...

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Ricketts: "Well, remember in that speech, Mr. President, you vowed to open up the Chinese market to our U.S. beef. And you delivered on that promise."

Trump: "And that's what we're doing, right? Did I deliver? I did that quickly."

Ricketts: "Yeah."

Trump: "In one conversation. So, good to see you, Pete."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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