Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s last White House chief of staff, appeared on Newsmax on Friday night, sparking a flurry of angry comments from critics of the former president after Meadows stated that they are holding “cabinet” meetings at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ.
Although Meadows admitted he lacked the authority to speak on Trump’s behalf, he insisted that no meetings would be held if Trump did not have concrete plans to “move forward in a meaningful way.”
Repeating “cabinet members” multiple times while talking with Newsmax host Steve Cortes, Meadows added, “Well, we met with several of our cabinet members tonight, we actually had a follow-up member, meeting with some of our cabinet members, and as we were looking at that, we were looking at what does come next. I’m not authorized to speak on behalf of the president, but I can tell you this Steve, we wouldn’t be meeting tonight if we weren’t making plans to move forward in a real way, with president Trump at the head of that ticket.”
While it is unclear exactly what Meadows meant, it appears he was implying that Trump is serious about running for president again in 2024.
The latest development comes just days after Trump himself hinted at a third presidential run. During a recent interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump stated, “It’s not that I want to. The country needs it. We have to take care of this country. I don’t want to, is this fun? Fighting constantly? Fighting always? I mean, the country, what we have done is so important.”
Given that Trump is still regarded as one of the most powerful Republican figures, it would not be surprising if his supporters supported another presidential run.
In fact, according to the most recent straw poll results, Trump still has a 70 percent lead over all of his potential Republican challengers within the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
However, Trump’s latest defeat in Texas, where his candidate lost, may be showing that his control over the Republican party voter might be waning.
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Jake Ellzey of Texas won a US House seat on Tuesday night over a fellow Republican opponent backed by Donald Trump, handing the former president a defeat in his first test of endorsement power since leaving office.
Ellzey’s come-from-behind victory in a special congressional election runoff near Dallas over Susan Wright, the widow of the late Representative Ron Wright, is likely to be celebrated by Trump detractors who have warned against Trump’s continued hold on the GOP.
Trump has supported Wright from the beginning and made one final attempt to boost her with a phone rally on Monday night.
Ellzey had more than 53% of the vote in Texas’ 6th congressional district, with results from nearly all precincts reported.
“One of things that we’ve seen from this campaign is a positive outlook, a Reagan Republican outlook, for the future of our country is what the people of the 6th district really, really want,” Ellzey said to supporters following his victory.
Ellzey is a Republican state legislator who finished second to Wright in the May primary and only narrowly advanced to the runoff against a Democrat.
The seat became available following the death of Ron Wright, who became the first member of Congress to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19 in February.
Ellzey did not run on an anti-Trump platform, nor did he attempt to distance himself from the twice-impeached former president.
Instead, he sought to compensate for Trump’s lack of support by raising more funds and touting other endorsements, including that of former Texas governor Rick Perry.
Trump endorsed Susan Wright early in the special election and recorded a robocall in her support late in the runoff.
Over the weekend, Make America Great Action, a political action committee chaired by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, also spent $100,000 on advertisements.
However, the outcome may demonstrate the limits of his political clout. Republicans have continued to prioritize loyalty to Trump since his defeat in November, despite Trump’s false and baseless claim that the election was stolen.
Ellzey’s district in north Texas – where he narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the seat in 2018 – has long been Republican territory.
But Trump’s support in the district had also dropped: after winning it by double digits in 2016, he carried it by just three percentage points last year, reflecting a trend of Texas’ booming suburbs shifting to purple and, in some places, outright blue.
Ron Wright, 67, died just weeks into his second term after succumbing to lung cancer. Susan Wright had also been diagnosed with Covid-19 and was hospitalized with her husband at one point.