Former president Trump will attempt to ensure that all open 2022 midterm races will feature a Republican candidate with his endorsement, three people familiar with the matter told Politico.
The report comes amid an intra-GOP contest for influence following Trump’s defeat in the November elections and subsequent impeachment trial, in which the former president was acquitted of the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Trump has received requests for meetings or endorsements from dozens of potential GOP candidates. Former campaign manager Brad Parscale met with Trump earlier this week to discuss possible avenues for fundraising and social media advocacy. He also met with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.).
“We are in the process of putting together a more formal schedule for candidates who want to come get his endorsement,” senior Trump adviser Jason Miller told Politico.
Trump refused to meet on Wednesday with former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who has launched a PAC to support midterm candidates and is a potential contender for the presidency in 2024. The refusal came after Haley criticized Trump over the Capitol riots, telling Politico “We need to acknowledge [Trump] let us down.”
Additionally, a rift has opened up between Trump and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who voted to acquit the former president at his impeachment trial but said Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the riot at the Capitol. Trump responded by labeling McConnell a “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and warning that “if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”