The House Republican Conference will meet in person on Wednesday and is expected to discuss the fates of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, two Republicans with drastically different loyalties to former President Donald Trump.
It's a stark reminder of Trump's continual hold on his party, even after many congressional Republicans condemned his behavior ahead of and during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump's actions that day earned him another rebuke from the House, the second time in history a president has been impeached twice. Ten House Republicans voted alongside Democrats to impeach him.
One of them was the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Cheney, who said in a statement ahead of the vote: "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."
But backlash against her was swift, with many in her party calling for her removal from leadership.
Trump loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., even went to Cheney's home state and urged her constituents to vote her out.
And while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has expressed support for Cheney, he also told Greta Van Susteren he has "concerns" over her impeachment vote.
"I do think she has a lot of questions she has to answer to the conference," he said in an interview on Jan. 24.
Meanwhile, McCarthy is also under pressure to take action against Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has long embraced conspiracy theories and has a history of being racist and anti-Semitic.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’ll be meeting with former President Donald Trump in the coming weeks to talk about the future of the Republican Party.
The South Carolina Republican said Friday evening that he plans to encourage Trump to work with Republicans to ensure that they take back the House and the Senate in 2022.
“I'm going to try and convince him that we can't get there without you, but you can't keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said. “If we come back in 2022, then, it's an affirmation of your policies. But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”
Trump has made it clear that he plans to remain active in Republican politics. He’s threatened to primary Republicans who don’t stand with him, including Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), and is mulling a potential run for president again in 2024.
“Trump's got to work with everybody,” Graham said. “You got to put your best team on the field. If it's about revenge and going after people you don't like, we're going to have a problem. If this is about putting your best team on the field, we've got a decent chance at coming back.”
I think he'll go for revenge. He doesn't give a damn.
“Count me out,” Graham (R-S.C.) said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, adding that he was sad to see his journey with Trump end this way. In an interview two days later, Graham said “he’d never been so humiliated and embarrassed for the country” and spoke in palpable frustration over how his longtime ally handled the riot.
Just weeks later, he is singing a different tune. Graham is set to visit the former president’s gilded Mar-a-Lago Club on Sunday to spend two days golfing and dining with Trump. He has spoken to the former president nearly daily since Jan. 6 — more frequently than any of his Republican colleagues in the Senate — and served as an informal adviser to Trump’s defense team during his Senate impeachment trial this month.
Meanwhile, Graham said he has not spoken with President Biden, a longtime friend from the Senate, since his Jan. 20 inauguration.
Graham’s post-presidential embrace of Trump — which puts him squarely at odds with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — is the latest twist in his on-again, off-again relationship with a man he once called a “kook” and warned could destroy the party. It comes after the four-term senator said he reviewed polling in South Carolina and across the country that shows Trump’s enduring strength among Republicans, even after the Jan. 6 insurrection that resulted in five deaths.
“If he ran, it would be his nomination for the having,” Graham said of Trump in an interview. “I don’t know what he wants to do. Because he was successful for conservatism and people appreciate his fighting spirit, he’s going to dominate the party for years to come. The way I look at it, there is no way we can achieve our goals without Trump.”
Graham is now positioning himself as a leader of the pro-Trump wing of a party that is increasingly divided about how to reckon with the divisive 45th president.
In Graham’s view, embracing Trump is simply practical politics. To critics, he is showing a willingness to tolerate Trump’s attacks on democracy in exchange for proximity to power.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that he would not support a run by former President Donald Trump for reelection in 2024.
"He's got a good family ... and they love America," the Republican told host Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union." "But I would not support him for reelection in 2024."
"He's going to have a voice, as former presidents do, but there's many voices in our party," he went on. Trump "should not define our future."
Hutchinson said in January that he wanted the Trump administration to end, but stopped short of calling for the former president's resignation. He also called a second set of impeachment proceedings "unworkable."
The governor's nephew, an Arkansas state senator, has since announced he is leaving the Republican Party due to the direction the GOP has taken.
Hutchinson called on the GOP to pivot away from Trump's perspective and toward "a different voice for the future of our party."
"He will only define our party if we let him define our party," Hutchinson said Sunday. "I think it's fine for CPAC to invite former President Trump to speak, but how about the other voices? Senator [Bill] Cassidy from Louisiana, those that have different points of view."
Originally posted by wtg: And Pence has declined an invitation to speak at CPAC.
Distancing himself from The Former Guy.
-------------------------------- “Learn to milk whatever success you’ve had. You can keep doing the same thing over and over as long as you have a sense of humor about not having a new idea.” -- John Waters
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In his first post-presidential appearance, Donald Trump plans to send the message next weekend that he is Republicans' "presumptive 2024 nominee" with a vise grip on the party's base, top Trump allies tell Axios.
What to watch: A longtime adviser called Trump's speech a "show of force," and said the message will be: "I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I'm still in charge." Payback is his chief obsession.
Nearly half of Republicans say they would abandon the party as it is currently structured and join a new party if former President Trump was its leader, according to a new poll released Sunday.
A Suffolk University-USA Today poll found that 46 percent of Republicans said they would abandon the GOP and join the Trump party if the former president decided to create one. Only 27 percent said they would stay with the GOP, with the remainder indicating they would be undecided.
"We feel like Republicans don't fight enough for us, and we all see Donald Trump fighting for us as hard as he can, every single day," a Republican and small-business owner from Milwaukee told the newspaper. "But then you have establishment Republicans who just agree with establishment Democrats and everything, and they don't ever push back."
Originally posted by wtg: Nearly half of Republicans say they would abandon the party as it is currently structured and join a new party if former President Trump was its leader, according to a new poll released Sunday.
Sounds good to me.
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