Trump ‘plotting revenge tour’ against opponents after his impeachment trial

Vast majority of Republican voters are still in Mr Trump's camp, with latest poll from Quinnipiac showing that 86 per cent of Republicans believe Senate should acquit Mr Trump and 76 per cent of them believe lie that there was widespread fraud in election

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 05 February 2021 15:21 GMT
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Former President Donald Trump is planning a revenge tour around the country after the end of his second impeachment trial, to campaign against Republicans who oppose him, according to a report.

Mr Trump has been advised that it would be unwise to go out and rail against incumbent Republicans before the end of the trial despite that Mr Trump acquittal is almost a foregone conclusion at this point.

A Republican close to Mr Trump told Insider: "Even he recognises that we have Trump fatigue. Even he knows that you can get overexposed, and he wore the electorate out. And that was part of the problem. He clearly wore the country out with his behaviour between the election and the inauguration."

"Twitter did him a favour," the Republican added, referring to the former president's lifetime ban from the platform. Even so, advisors are telling Mr Trump that he should speak publicly soon in order to not lose his vice-like grip on the party.

A former Trump campaign adviser told Insider that the longer Mr Trump remains holed up at Mar-A-Lago, his South Florida club, the less of a serious 2024 contender he becomes.

The vast majority of Republican voters are still in Mr Trump's camp with the latest poll from Quinnipiac released 4 February showing that 86 per cent of Republicans believe the Senate should acquit Mr Trump and 76 per cent of them believe the lie that there was widespread fraud in the election. Overall, a majority of Americans, 59 per cent, does not believe that there was widespread fraud.

Read more: Follow the latest updates on the post-presidency of Donald Trump

Mr Trump's tour would reportedly focus on the ten House Republicans who voted for his impeachment, with one of the possible targets being Anthony Gonzalez, who represents a district outside Cleveland, Ohio, a district which Mr Trump won with 57 per cent of the vote in 2020. Mr Gonzalez himself fared a little bit better, getting 63 per cent of the vote in his first reelection bid.

The former president - who values loyalty over perhaps anything else - is also preparing to possibly start trying to take down any Senators who vote for his conviction in the upcoming impeachment trial or cross him in any other way.

He's already urged South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to take on Senator John Thune in 2022 because of Mr Thune's criticism of Mr Trump's attempts to overturn the election. Mr Thune won reelection in the state in 2016 with almost 72 per cent of the vote, while Mr Trump won the state in 2020 with ten per cent less of the vote.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski could also be targeted as she has been one of the most outspoken Republican critics of Mr Trump during his time in office and she was one of five Republicans last month who voted with Democrats to strike down a resolution saying that an impeachment trial for a former president would be unconstitutional. Mr Trump won the state of Alaska in 2020 with 52.8 per cent to Joe Biden's 42.8 per cent.

Even as plans are being made, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller told Insider that it was "too soon to discuss specific 2022 campaign activity".

While stewing in Florida, one of Mr Trump's most high profile antagonists of late, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney who voted to impeach him, won the support of 145 of her colleagues to stay in the position, with only 61 members voting to remove her after the wing of the party most loyal to Mr Trump forced a vote on whether she was to stay in the position, thinking they had the votes to remove her.

Republicans close to Mr Trump said this was likely to have angered him as he is eager to get out in public and criticise congressional Republicans who he thinks have betrayed him.

Mr Trump's lawyers quickly denied a request from House Democrats that he testify under oath during the Senate impeachment trial, but despite passing on this speaking opportunity, some with inside knowledge believe that Mr Trump will be out and swinging at his perceived enemies sooner rather than later.

Former RNC spokesman Doug Heye told Insider that Mr Trump "is clearly shell shocked from the reaction to January 6 and losing his social media platform... We don't know how long that will last, but it's safe to assume we'll be hearing from him at some point."

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