Rawstory is reporting that former President Donald Trump has endorsed five congressional Republican challengers as part of his effort to reclaim control of the party after losing his re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden last year.
Trump’s ire has been directed at the few Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 riot in the United States Capitol, or to convict him on that charge in a Senate trial that resulted in his acquittal.
The following are some of the notable Republicans Trump has targeted with his revenge.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-OH
Gonzalez, a two-term U.S. representative from Ohio who voted to impeach Trump for inciting supporters to launch a deadly assault on the Capitol, became the first of Trump’s targets to withdraw from re-election after the former president endorsed a Republican challenger on Thursday.
Gonzalez’ impeachment vote drew a rebuke from the Ohio Republican Party, which called on him to resign his congressional seat in May. Gonzalez stated in a statement that “the toxic dynamics within our own party” played a role in his resignation. Trump has endorsed Max Miller, a former White House aide, for Gonzalez’s seat.
Representative Liz Cheney, R-WY
Cheney was the highest-profile lawmaker of the 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump. A U.S. representative for Wyoming since 2017, she was ousted from her role as the No. 3 House Republican following the impeachment vote. A scion of a storied Republican family, Cheney’s father Dick Cheney served as U.S. vice president from 2001 to 2009. In a Sept. 9 statement endorsing Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman https://www.reuters.com/world/us/trump-endorses-challenger-republican-cheney-wyoming-house-race-2021-09-09, who is challenging Cheney, Trump called Cheney “disloyal.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK
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Alaska’s senator was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict and remove Trump from office. The vote was called off, and Trump was acquitted. Murkowski, known for her long streak of independence, is the only Republican up for re-election this year. Trump has endorsed former state administration commissioner Kelly Tshibaka to run for Murkowski’s seat.
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA
The Washington state representative not only voted to impeach Trump, but she also testified against him in his Senate trial. In a statement, Herrera Beutler said that the top House Republican, Kevin McCarthy, told her about a phone call he had with Trump on Jan. 6, during the riot when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, during which Trump said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Trump has endorsed Army veteran Joe Kent’s bid to unseat Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, who has served in the House since 2011.
Upton, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1987, was an early critic of Trump’s false claims that he lost the November presidential election due to widespread fraud.
In January, Upton stated that his vote for impeachment was intended to “send a clear message” that the country will not tolerate a president impeding the peaceful transfer of power.
Trump has endorsed state lawmaker Steve Carra’s bid to unseat Upton.
According to the Washington Post, in May, 2020, close associates of Trump are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his obsession with exacting vengeance on those that he believes have wronged him.
Republican leaders and supporters told the Post that instead of spending time on “petty rivalries and complaints,” Trump should be trying to defend his administration’s policies and support the GOP in 2022.
The report quotes 13 former White House officials, advisers, and allies, the majority of whom requested anonymity.
“All the 2022 stuff is, ‘Well, what’s in it for me?’ ” when summarizing Trump’s new attitude, one former senior White House official told the Post.
Trump, according to some former senior White House advisers, is eager to stay at the forefront of national attention. After the former president was barred from Facebook and Twitter, social media chatter about him has dropped by 91 percent.
The ex-president is still attempting to retain absolute leverage over the Republican base while planning his vengeance on Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him for inciting the Capitol riot on January 6.
He continues to fuel unfounded allegations that the election was rigged, and in recent weeks has become fixated on Arizona and Georgia, which flipped for President Joe Biden in November.
Trump is also said to be so fixated on his election defeat that he refuses to step forward with plans for his presidential library, according to the reports. He told GOP donors earlier this year that he wanted to raise $2 billion for the library, which he wants to construct in Florida.
Though Trump has previously hinted at a presidential run in 2024, he has yet to make a formal announcement.
If he runs, two advisers told the Post, he won’t declare until after the midterm elections.
His indecision about his own run is another cause allies have become “frustrated” in the last few weeks and has caused mounting fears that the ex-president is blowing his chance to “take charge of the GOP early on.”
Former aides and allies in contact with Trump say his recent reappearance is motivated by an ego-driven urge to stay at the center of national attention.
And he’s entertaining a steady stream of Republican well-wishers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), who pay their respects, seek his blessing, and share a picture of their ring-kissing on social media.
According to many former senior White House aides, the vanquished ex-president is motivated mainly by a desire for vengeance, an insatiable desire for the limelight, and a desire to gain and retain absolute supremacy and influence over the Republican base. He has boasted to those in his circle that he expects a book deal at some point, despite the fact that no offer has been made, according to two advisers.