Former President Donald Trump is planning to start holding secret meetings with prospective primary candidates who seek to oust incumbent Republicans who are deemed insufficiently loyal to the America First Agenda in 2022, according to Breitbart.
President Trump has reportedly already received dozens of requests for private meetings from potential candidates all across the country, with some of these meetings potentially set to take place as early as March of this year. In recent weeks, he has met with several leading Republicans at Mar-a-Lago, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), while rejecting meeting requests from former governor Nikki Haley (R-S.C.).
Jason Miller, one of the president’s senior advisers, has said that “we are in the process of putting together a more formal schedule for candidates who want to come get his endorsement,” adding that his latest meetings have mostly been limited to “folks with the ability to contact him themselves.”
President Trump has been gearing up to become the kingmaker of Republican electoral politics in the coming election cycles after his second impeachment trial led to yet another acquittal. He has taken aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in particular after McConnell, who voted to acquit the president, nevertheless blamed Trump for the mostly peaceful protests that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6th. In response, President Trump released a statement vowing to back primary candidates “who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First.”
The main targets of this planned 2022 primary strategy include the ten House Republicans who voted in favor of the article of impeachment against President Trump, including Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the Chair of the House Republican Conference. Of the seven Republican senators who voted in favor of conviction, only one, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), is up for re-election next year.