A Trump-McConnell power struggle creates landmines in GOP quest to retake Congress


The Republican primaries for the 2022 midterms are fast becoming a battlefield for control of the party. Most presidents — particularly a defeated one-termer — slip quietly away and allow the highest-ranking elected officials in the party to take the reins. Not Donald Trump. After laying low in the months after he left office in January, Trump has in recent weeks increased his public presence. He has trashed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “son of a bitch,” endorsed primary challengers against sitting Republican members of Congress he deems disloyal and attempted to divert GOP fundraising away from the party and into his own political organizations. The growing power struggle could have repercussions in the 2022 elections, when the party hopes to seize control of Democrats’ narrow majorities in the House and the Senate. They fear he could anoint loyal but unelectable candidates in primaries, who then squander winnable seats. Trump’s antics are a distraction, senior members of the party say, and dilutes their message in a way that helps Democrats. Instead, this cycle, Trump is focused on repeating false claims about the 2020 election.

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