World Republican Lawmakers Make Florida Trek to Win Over Trump's Support Ahead of 2022
Disputing Donald Trump Trial Constitutionality Helps Senate GOP Deflect Tougher Questions
The former president's second Senate impeachment trial is underway, focused on his actions surrounding the events of January 6.On the first day of proceedings, senators voted on whether it was constitutional to try Trump now he is no longer in office—with only six Republicans from the upper chamber voting to move forward with the trial.
Former President's tony water-side estate on the Florida coastline has become the endpoint of a pilgrimage for Republican lawmakers hoping to hold onto his decreasing—but fiercely loyal—base as they scope out the future of the GOP and what role Trump will play in it.
U.S. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise have made the trip, and U.S. Senatoris scheduled to head to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend. All three were key Trump allies during his administration, and those close to them have described the meetings as mostly informal plotting ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, where Trump could play a crucial role in whether are able to reclaim control of the U.S. House, or both during President 's administration.
Lisa Murkowski Will Be First GOP Senator to Test Loyalty of Base After Convicting Trump
Seven Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to convict former president Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial, but Alaska's Murkowski is the first up for re-election in 2022.Seven Republican lawmakers—Sens. Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana; Susan Collins, of Maine; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; Mitt Romney, of Utah; Ben Sasse, of Nebraska; and Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina—joined Democratic counterparts in their push to impeach.
Those familiar with the meetings have declined to comment on the record on what they expect from Trump, but the former president could play an outsized role in the midterms—backing candidates, fundraising and possibly even doing campaign ads for candidates who could use a pro-Trump boost.
Historically, a new president's party has taken a hit in midterm elections—a looming threat to President Joe Biden's plans to reverse much of Trump's actions and continue addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
Sixteen Senate Republicans are up for reelection in 2022, and House members, all of whom get two-year terms, also will appear on ballots across the country.
Trump has set up his post-presidency office at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort, where he's been spotted playing golf and chatting with VIPs. He has given a few interviews, recently calling intoafter the death of conservative political commentator . He's also talked to far-right outlets Newsmax and One America News Network, which he praised in the final months of his term.
What’s next for the MAGA merchants of Etsy? More Trump.
While the former president has been banned from Shopify, independent sellers are still pushing Trump gear.The former president looks as he did during his time in the White House, sticking out like a sore thumb among the other presidents, though Babin has equipped him with a slightly sharper chin and a stout, flattop-like haircut. “Originally it was a gift idea for my boss,” he tells me, over Etsy’s messaging platform. “He sent a picture [of the sculpture] to a few of his friends and all of a sudden I had 20 orders.
A spokesperson for Trump's "Office of the 45th President" declined to comment on the rounds that he's been making when reached by Newsweek.
Sources close to both Scalise and McCarthy described to Newsweek their visits being general and not on any specific topic but meant to keep the lines of communication open. Both McCarthy and Scalise could potentially be in line to become House speaker if Republicans reclaim the U.S. House. Both have previously jockeyed for the post beforewon control two years into Trump's tenure.
Scalise, who narrowly survived a shooting during practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in 2017, has particularly stayed in Trump's good graces, even as McCarthy has faced reports of clashes with Trump.
Senate Minority Leader, a Kentucky Republican who won reelection last year after receiving Trump's endorsement, appears less concerned with Trump's approval and has distanced himself from the former president since violent riots erupted at the Capitol on January 6. He isn't expected to make the same effort to court Trump's future support. U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who voted in favor of Trump's impeachment after the siege, also isn't expected to visit him.
Republicans Back Trump Because of the Insurrection, Not Despite It
The former president’s ruthlessness remains central to his appeal.How can it be that Democrats and Republicans see the former president in such divergent ways? One common answer is that, thanks to information bubbles, they’re looking at different sets of facts; conservative outlets buried the impeachment hearings compared with other outlets’ coverage. Democrats and independents are still outraged, while Republicans have forgiven and forgotten.
Trump hasn't ruled out a run for President in 2024. During his interviews, he continued to repeat that he thought the election was stolen from him—a claim that helped prompt the Capitol riots.
"We were robbed. It was a rigged election," he told OANN.
On Fox News he said, "You would have had riots going all over the place if that happened to a Democrat."
Graham's office didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on his plans for the weekend visit.
After hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and the then-president continued tweeting his support for them, Trump was banned from, previously his favorite medium for commenting directly on various topics.
Polls show Trump's popularity has taken a sharp downturn since the riots. The latest polling analysis from FiveThirtyEight, which is based on an average of recent credible polls shows Trump has a 57.9 disapproval rating, compared to 38.6 percent approval. But his base has largely remained in tact and could prove crucial for Republicans looking to topple Biden's agenda. On President's Day, Trump supporters crowded outside Mar-a-Lago to show their continued support.
With Cuomo, Newsom Under Siege, DeSantis Shines in Biden-era COVID Fights
A Republican congressman recently said the Florida governor would be a "strong potential presidential candidate" for the 2024 election cycle.DeSantis, who remained an ally of former President Donald Trump throughout Trump's time in office, faced heavy criticism last summer for resisting statewide lockdowns as COVID-19 raged throughout his state and the rest of the country.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, an arm of the Republican party that doles out campaign cash for Republicans running for U.S. House seats, reported to the Federal Elections Commission at the start of 2021 that it has more than $12.6 million in the bank.
Its Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reported that it had nearly $21 million.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is the only GOP senator up for reelection who voted to convict Trump during his recent unsuccessful impeachment trial. In addition to Cheney, who McCarthy has defended for her vote, nine other Republican House members voted to impeach Trump.
What Polls Say About Trump's Role in the GOP Ahead of CPAC 2021 Speech .
Trump closing out CPAC is already a signal of the significant role the GOP sees him continuing to play and voters seems to agree with the former president's expected message that he's still the man in charge.While it wasn't enough to win reelection in November, Trump received more votes than any Republican candidate in history, and if some Republicans are looking to move past the Trump-era, his supporters aren't. Nearly half of Republicans would follow the former president to a third party if he were to create one and he's still the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.