Trump will soon begin screening candidates in Mar-a-Lago eager to deliver on his promise to get revenge on the incumbent Republicans who despised him, and according to three people familiar with the planning secure every open GOP seat in 2022 Midterms has a MAGA-approved contender to compete for it.
Trump has already received dozens of requests from potential candidates wanting to introduce themselves and seek approval, and formal meetings with them could begin as early as March. After weathering his second Senate impeachment trial, Trump has shifted his focus to post-president activism – a company funded largely by his new PAC leadership, Save America, which raised $ 31 million in theirs earlier this month Had coffers.
Earlier this week, Trump met with former campaign manager Brad Parscale to discuss online fundraising components to support his efforts and how to use social media despite being banned from popular sites like Twitter. Trump also met with Steve Scalise (R-La.) And his eldest son Don Jr earlier this week.
“We are in the process of putting together a more formal schedule for candidates who would like to get approval,” said Trump senior adviser Jason Miller, noting that Trump’s meetings have so far been limited to golf buddies, Mar-a-Lago members and ” People with the ability to contact him themselves. ”
The planning for Trump’s upcoming revenge tour comes from the fact that other top Republicans are trying to get him to work with the party apparatus ahead of next year’s midterm elections instead of recruiting rival candidates whose offers make the primaries difficult and GOP-critical seats could cost. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) is expected to meet with Trump over the weekend to discuss his upcoming plans, including the former president’s desire to push for voter reform at a time when electoral integrity is a major divide between the two has caused elected Republicans.
Others in Trump’s orbit have encouraged him to wait and see if Republicans who have crossed him can be re-elected next fall, such as Govs. Mike DeWine from Ohio and Brian Kemp from Georgia attempt a peace offer before seriously looking for potential primary challengers.
“I’m more concerned about 2022 than ever before. I don’t want to eat our own,” Graham told Fox News after a blistering statement Trump released earlier this week calling out Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.), Accused of endangering GOP candidates with his “lack of political insight”. Wisdom, ability and personality. ”
In the statement, Trump vowed to recruit insurgent candidates “who will work to make America great again and our policies America first” wherever he deems such challenges to be necessary. The former president has tried to oust Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Republican of House No. 3, and Fred Upton, of Michigan, if he chooses not to retire. Both Cheney and Upton voted to indict Trump after the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Peter Meijer, a second Michigan congressman who voted for impeachment, is already facing a major opponent of an Afghan veteran and self-proclaimed Trump supporter.
Whether Graham can turn the bitter ex-president into a team player largely depends on who Trump is in contact with and how often. He still speaks weekly to his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and continues to seek advice from a variety of former aides and political confidants whose appetites for revenge and contempt for the political establishment mirror his own. Trump recently hosted former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former campaign advisors Corey Lewandowski and Dave Bossie for dinner, all of whom remain influential members of the MAGA movement.
“When you’re Trump, you don’t have to play well with these people anymore. You don’t have to do all the wrong political thing of pretending to like people you don’t really like,” said one person in the Proximity to the president, suggesting that Trump is unlikely to seek feedback from Republicans who disagree with his approach.
Some ordinary Republicans have encouraged party leaders to be cautious in trying to distance the party from Trump while he remains hugely popular with GOP voters. A POLITICO / Morning Consult poll conducted after Trump’s acquittal in the Senate found that nearly six in ten Republican voters want him to keep a strong role in the future party.
“A Republican party that tries to wipe out President Trump and doesn’t understand his appeal to working class voters will lose the 2022, 2024 and beyond,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Leader of the Conservative Republican Study Committee, tweeted on Wednesday.
So far, Trump has backed two of his most loyal allies, Arizona Republican Party leader Kelli Ward, who received confirmation of her re-election bid, and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a candidate for Arkansas governor received over his Save America PAC a shining seal of approval Since then, he has used the political arm to beat up McConnell, post poll transcripts touting his popularity, and post a reading of his recent meeting with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
He has failed to endorse other Trumpian candidates who have already competed in races and instead waited to make a series of referrals later this spring and summer, according to someone familiar with the timeline.
Meanwhile, Trump seems to be enjoying moving into his post-presidency life. He was happy about the message splash his aides said his rare statements made, but otherwise spends his days like many of his wealthy colleagues in Palm Beach: catching messages, making calls, having leisurely meals, and going to the golf course with friends.
“He really does what all the other guys his age do with that kind of fortune,” said a Florida Republican who is close to the Trump family. But then, according to the person, Trump was spotted on his golf course with Kid Rock on Wednesday.