Trump may endorse rival GOP candidates for midterms, report says: ‘I get two chances to win’

The former president is said to be suspicious of who is paying his advisers and how it influences the candidates they suggest he endorse

Graig Graziosi
Friday 21 January 2022 20:55

Related video; Lara Trump puts pressure on DeSantis to back Trump in 2024

Former President Donald Trump may be reversing course on his previous endorsement strategy in which he was extremely selective about who he would back in Republican primary races. Instead, sources speaking with Politico claim the former commander-in-chief is handing out endorsements to rival candidates to ensure he backs the winning horse.

According to the insiders who spoke with Politico, Mr Trump is growing distrustful of his advisors, who he relies on to guide him when he considers endorsements.

"He's at times suspicious of the recommendations that people give him when he knows they're being paid," one of the advisors said. "He's been asking who is paying who."

He apparently feels he is "being penned in" by his advisers, and is considering handing out endorsements to competing rivals, claiming: "I get two chances to win."

However, advisers fear that Mr Trump's strategy may dilute the value of his endorsement, as it is less meaningful if he backs opposing candidates.

In the Missouri Senate race, the head of Mr Trump's super PAC, Pam Bondi, is pushing for him to endorse state Attorney General Eric Schmitt. However, his former senior aide Kellyanne Conway is pushing for him to back Congressman Billy Long. Further complicating matters, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr's fiancée, serves as the national chair for former Governor Eric Greitens' Senate campaign.

Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire behind Palantir who helped kill Gawker, wants Mr Trump to back JD Vance's run for that state's open Senate seat. Ms Conway is campaigning for his challenger, Bernie Moreno.

Mr Thiel is also pushing Mr Trump to back Blake Masters in Arizona's Senate primary, while former ambassador Ric Grenell wants him to endorse Jim Lamon.

In Pennsylvania's Senate race, one of Mr Trump's former aides, Dina Powell, is pushing the former president to endorse her husband, David McCormick. However, Fox News host Sean Hannity wants Mr Trump back controversial celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.

Mr Trump has been frustrated by endorsements he has already made that may prove to have been bad bets. The former president backed Congressman Mo Brooks in the Alabama Senate race at the behest of his former aide, Stephen Miller. However, Mr Brooks is losing ground in his race, and annoyed Mr Trump by telling voters to move past 2020 and focus on 2024.

The former president was reportedly so aggravated by Mr Brooks' suggestion that voters quit focusing on the 2020 election – and thus moving past Mr Trump's election fraud lies – that he has considered rescinding his endorsement, according to an aide.

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