Every former US president acquires hobbies after leaving office (books, painting, skinny dip, boxing). For the first days of Donald Trump’s post-presidency, he chose something a little different: revenge.
It is early and presidents generally withdraw from public view dramatically on purpose after leaving office. But Trump does not seem interested in pursuing that practice.
The 45th president has amassed a post-presidential war chest of $ 31 million. He has endorsed a former aide in the upcoming gubernatorial election in the form of his former press secretary Sarah Sanders in Arkansas.
And he has vowed to exact revenge on high-profile Republicans whom he sees as the main reason he is out of office, such as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp or Speaker of the House Republican Conference Liz Cheney, the highest ranking member of his group to Vote to impeach the former president.
Some of Trump’s allies are also holding political campaign roles to maintain Trumpism or begin the siege of his opponents. Matt Gaetz, the Florida congressman and a staunch Trump ally, has already traveled to Wyoming to encourage opposition to Cheney. In Arizona, pro-Trump Republicans censured former Senator Jeff Flake, Governor Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain.
In Pennsylvania, the state Republican party recently reaffirmed his full support for Trump as well. And above the state parties, the president of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, an ally of Trump, was re-elected to his position.
The former president has largely remained out of the public eye as Congress moves forward with his second impeachment trial, but is set to resurface in the coming months. On Tuesday, one of Trump’s attorneys, David Schoen, also appeared on Fox News’ Hannity.
To cement his influence, Trump has also not ruled out the possibility of running for election again in 2024, forcing other potential Republican candidates to act carefully as they lay out their own bases for the next presidential campaign.
But anti-Trump sentiment within the party is also growing, albeit slowly, especially for a president who left office after a term with low approval ratings. Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the president, recently established a political action committee to help win back the party from Trump’s allies. Flake continues to make media appearances and uses them to fight Trump’s grip on the Republican party.
Trump and his allies, however, have shown no interest in giving up control. The question, explained former Congressman Jim Renacci of Ohio, is whether Trump should continue to be the leader of the Republican Party or one of the leaders of the political movement within him that identifies closely with Trump.
“I don’t think he needs to be the leader, I think he just needs to keep moving the movement forward,” Renacci said, adding: “I think there are still people fed up with the country and the leadership and I think they are getting more fed up now that President Biden is signing executive orders and undoing things that people really felt were good for the country. “
Renacci compared it to whether Trump would be a member of a group of stellar Republican leaders or the Stellar Republican Leader; one of the beatles or the Beatle.
Renacci himself has identified himself as a Trump Republican and could end up acting as an active participant in trying to keep Trump’s grip on the party. He is weighing whether to run for an open seat in the United States Senate in Ohio or challenge the governor of that state, Mike DeWine, in the Republican primary. Trump has had fights with DeWine in the past.
Gaetz, in a series of text messages to The Guardian, said: “It seems that the Republicans in the House of Representatives are heading for some kind of civil war.” He explained that the moment Cheney lost favor with the “outsiders” was not when he voted to impeach Trump, but when he went “after” Kentucky. Congressman Thomas Massie.
Gaetz said opponents of anti-Trump Republicans should start campaigning against them.
“It’s time to campaign and find out who we are as a party, and as you saw in Wyoming, I love campaigning,” Gaetz continued. “Kinzinger has started a Pac. That is your right. However, it is revealing. When the Neocon Establishment mobilizes, they turn to Pacs as their first instinct. America First populists turn to the people, just like I did in Wyoming with great success. “
On the other hand, a former assistant to the then vice president, Mike Pence, pointed out that Trump’s political war chest is substantial. If the former president used that money to encourage a Republican challenger to say, Kemp, the operation would say: “I think Kemp’s toast.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism