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Growing number of Republican donors aim to reward party for Trump’s influence | Republicans

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Some four dozen Republican donors were on a February 5 conference call with Liz Cheney, the MP and the only Republican leader to vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump for his role in the mob attack on Capitol Hill on January 6.

Many donors participating in Cheney’s appeal are expected to donate the maximum amount of $ 5,800 to his 2022 re-election campaign before the end of the first quarter of this year, to avoid a main challenge that Trump followers like Congressman Matt Gaetz. are encouraging, said Michael Epstein, one of Maryland’s top Republican donors.

We want to show it a really big cycle to scare off the competition, Epstein said in an interview. We want people who make judgments based on what is right.

The number of donors on the call partly reflects a growing movement among Republican fundraisers to try to tackle threats from the majority supporting Trump, who has maintained his grip on the Republican base, despite losing Trumps to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

While still in the minority in Republican political circles, critics of Trump and the wealthy donors who support them are quickly scrambling on multiple fronts to try to strip party control from those who staunchly adhere to the Trump line.

Nikki Haley, the former Trump ambassador to the UN who is planning a presidential election in 2024, is organizing Zoom fundraisers on March 3-4 for her Pac, and is expected to attract dozens of major Republican donors drawn to her criticism Trump in the Senate. trial, when Haley told Politico she was disgusted and angry with Trump’s role in the Jan.6 riot.

Haleys Pac’s fundraiser, dubbed Stand for America, is expected to support Cheney and others who voted to impeach Trump as well as other candidates who voted against impeachment, say fundraisers have ties to her .

A more aggressive effort to try and grapple with Trump and his allies and pull the Republican Party away from their influence has also been mounted by a new Pac called Country First, which was unveiled in late January by the Illinois congressman. Adam Kinzinger, one of only 10 members of the Republican House who voted to impeach Trump

Kinzinger, who has been censored by his local party for supporting Trump’s impeachment, has been outspoken after the Senate failed to convict Trump.

Trump encouraged an angry mob of his supporters to storm the United States Capitol to stop the electoral vote count, Kinzinger said. But he pointed out that we have a lot of work to do to restore the Republican Party and reverse the politics of personality.

However, campaign finance experts warn that the fight to reduce Trump’s influence on fundraising will be tough in a party he maintains a strong grip on, and the ex-president has signaled he will be involved. in the 2022 races in order to oust its detractors. .

In a statement berating Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate who voted for Trump’s acquittal but then criticized his actions, Trump ominously warned: I will support the main rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our America First Policy. We want bright, strong, thoughtful and compassionate leadership.

Before stepping down, Trump raised tens of millions of dollars for a new Pac, called Save America, which is expected to spend generously in 2022 to keep his political ambitions alive and demand retaliation against those who voted to impeach and convict. . Save America had more than $ 30 million in its coffers at the start of 2021, and Trump has reaped tens of millions more through three other committees he controls, according to public documents.

It will be difficult for Kinzinger and others who voted to impeach or convict Trump to stay the course financially, said Sheila Krumholz, who heads the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. During the last deposits, Trump had $ 105 million in the bank. He also has the largest list of staunch political supporters that he can tap into for donations whenever he needs money.

Republican analysts and donors expect Ego and Money Trumps to spark big battles against Cheney, as well as other Frankish members who voted to impeach Trump, such as Kinzinger.

Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is due for re-election for the new year, has voted to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. Photograph: Rex / Shutterstock

Republican agents say another possible Trump target could be Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who was one of only seven Republican senators to vote to condemn Trump and is the only one to be re-elected in 2022.

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska who gave Trump a key endorsement in 2016, is seen as a possible main challenger against Murkowski.

But some Republican sources say McConnell could help defeat a main challenge for Murkowski: McConnell has indicated that he will actively support candidates who are best for the future of parties and, after voting to acquit Trump, he said unequivocally that Trump was practically and morally responsible. for the Capitol riot.

Some Republican agents are trying to persuade the party that Trump, despite his still high nearly 80% approval ratings among Republican voters, is a serious handicap to the future of parties with the electorate at large.

The GOP must focus on nominating candidates who can win in Fall 22 and stop Trump’s litmus test, veteran Scott Reed said.

Other agents note that the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Houses’ Republican campaign arm, appears on track to support Cheney and others who voted to impeach Trump.

The NRCC will try to help Cheney and I suspect they will for others who voted for impeachment, said Charlie Black, a longtime GOP agent.

Yet Krumholz warns that in the short term, pledging loyalty to Trump is likely to be a magnet for Republican fundraising candidates. The way to raise campaign money as a GOP candidate, especially from small donors, is to present yourself as a Trump loyalist, Krumholz said.

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