Trump News Today: Allies turn on DeSantis amid rift, as Capitol riots inquiry holds ‘Watergate’ hearings

Trump Holds Rally in Florence, AZ

Donald Trump is being criticized for displaying a modified version of an official government seal in an announcement for a new golf course. Beyond matters of taste, the ad – sent on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – sparked questions about whether Mr. Trump is using taxpayer money officially given to him as an alumnus. president to further his private business interests.

As speculation of a rift between Mr. Trump and Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to grow, aides to the former president have blamed the story not just on the media, but on the Senate Minority Leader , Mitch McConnell. Their rationale, as posted via anonymous quotes, is that Mr. DeSantis fueled the latest stories by criticizing Mr. Trump’s lockdown policies on a podcast run by a former McConnell adviser.

Mr McConnell’s office has so far declined to comment on the story, although it is commonly believed that he and the former president have been at loggerheads since the January 6 insurgency last year.

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CNN: Former Trump staffers host strategy call to fight ex-boss

A slew of former Trump administration officials and staffers were on a conference call this week to strategize on efforts to stop their former boss from eroding American democracy, CNN reported Tuesday.

The call, which was attended by about three dozen people, including many White House alumni and others scattered throughout the Trump-era government, did not end with participants agreeing. on a strategy, according to CNN. But the group agreed that something had to be done about Donald Trump’s well-reported efforts to back loyalists in local and state elections across the country in a bid to weed out those who stood in the way of his efforts to quash. the 2020 elections.

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly was the most notable attendee, according to CNN, although he only participated in the discussion for a few minutes due to a prior engagement.

John BowdenJanuary 18, 2022 7:42 p.m.


January 6 panel member says committee unsure of fate of Jordan and other Republicans

Representative Jamie Raskin said Monday that the Jan. 6 committee has yet to decide whether it will go the route of issuing congressional subpoenas to Republican lawmakers who refuse voluntary requests for information from its panel.

The Maryland Democrat told MSNBC that his colleagues have not decided to take the lead in issuing subpoenas to Congress, which Speaker Bennie Thompson raised as a possibility.

“The committee has yet to decide what to do with the varying levels of interference and non-cooperation that we have received from various witnesses,” he said on All In with Chris Hayes, guest hosted by Medhi Hasan.

“So it’s something that’s going to, you know, require us to be tactically nimble,” Raskin continued. “We don’t want to get caught up in wild goose chases. On the other hand, everyone has a responsibility to comply with congressional orders when it comes to an investigation, and no one knows that. better than Mark Meadows or Jim Jordan, people who in the Benghazi inquiry or in a number of other inquiries against Democratic presidents insisted on absolute respect.

John BowdenJanuary 18, 2022 6:45 p.m.


Two Democrats announce their exit from Congress

The House saw another upheaval on Tuesday in the battle for control of the lower house in the fall. Two congressional Democrats, Representatives Jerry McNerney of California and Jim Langevin of Rhode Island have announced their intention not to seek re-election.

Their districts are both pro-Democratic territories, but are not guaranteed to return to blue hands in the fall given the exit of their incumbents and a potential lack of recognized candidates in their respective fields.

The Democrats currently hold an advantage of less than 20 seats in the lower house, meaning they can afford only a few losses in areas they currently control and still retain control of the House.

John BowdenJanuary 18, 2022 6:20 p.m.


Trump adviser says he expects more campaigning in coming months

An adviser to former President Donald Trump told CNN this week that the ex-president is eager to show his relevance to the GOP this midterm season.

In that regard, he is likely to step up his campaign efforts in the coming months, although he has yet to say whether he will run again in 2024.

“[W]We will see more engagement from him in the months to come,” Bryan Lanza told the network.

John BowdenJanuary 18, 2022 6:00 p.m.


Raskin: January 6 committee will have Watergate-style hearings

Representative Jamie Raskin, a member of the January 6 panel, said Monday that he and his fellow lawmakers will participate in daily hearings throughout 2022 as the committee seeks to educate the American people about what led to the attack. of the Capitol.

He made these comments to Medhi Hasan on MSNBC.

“[W]We are going to have hearings for the American people, which I hope will be a bit like the Watergate hearings, in that they will be happening on a daily basis so people can follow the unfolding narrative, ”said the congressman.

John BowdenJanuary 18, 2022 5:23 p.m.


Roger Stone’s take on Ron DeSantis

daily beast Journalist Zachary Petrizzo writes that Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally and hardcore right-wing agitator, has taken to speaking out against the Florida governor privately — including in the most personal terms.

Andrew NaughtyJanuary 18, 2022 5:01 p.m.


Report: DeSantis-Trump tensions still on the rise

the New York Times‘s Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman write that Donald Trump’s irritation over Ron DeSantis dates back “months” – and that the dispute isn’t just about a former president’s easily bruised ego:

At its core, the dispute amounts to replacing the larger challenge facing Republicans at the start of the midterm elections. They are led by a defeated former president who demands complete loyalty, tolerates no criticism, and is determined to sniff out, then snuff out, any threat to his control of the party.

That includes DeSantis, 43, who told friends he thought waiting for Mr. Trump to bend the knee was asking too much. That denial has caused generational shock and a test of loyalty in today’s de facto GOP capital, watched by Republicans elsewhere who came to power in the wake of Mr. Trump.

Read the full report here.

Andrew NaughtyJanuary 18, 2022 4:40 p.m.


Trumpist Texas Governor Releases Staggering Fundraising Numbers

Popular former congressman Beto O’Rourke is the Democrats’ leading candidate to take on Republican Greg Abbott in this year’s Texas gubernatorial contest – but based on newly released fundraising data, it appears that Mr. Abbott’s ability to make money will make him a formidable opponent indeed.

Mr. O’Rourke ran a strong campaign against Texas Senator Ted Cruz in 2018, a run that catapulted him to national fame despite losing. However, his subsequent presidential campaign failed to take off despite attracting high profile personnel and millions of dollars in donations.

Andrew NaughtyJanuary 18, 2022 4:20 p.m.


Top Republican explains why he’s not running for a winnable Senate seat

Chris Sununu, the Republican incumbent governor of New Hampshire, has long been considered one of the strongest contenders for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Maggie Hassan, who is up for re-election this year. Yet despite his high popularity, Mr Sununu refused to run, robbing the party of its best chance of taking a crucial Senate seat in a year when every race counts.

Explaining his reasoning for not running, Mr Sununu pointed to the Senate Republicans whose ranks he would have joined had he run and won, describing how they explicitly told him that their strategy from here 2024 is essentially about doing little more than hampering Joe Biden. .

Andrew NaughtyJanuary 18, 2022 3:58 p.m.


The fracas around Trump’s “presidential seal”

Tom Fenton explains why Donald Trump’s use of what looks like an official presidential seal for his golf club ad really matters – and why it caused such consternation.

Andrew NaughtyJanuary 18, 2022 3:35 p.m.