“His ego was never going to let him accept defeat and go quietly into the night,” she added. “But what I am surprised by is how deferential so many of the Republican elected officials” have been.
As a raging band of his supporters scaled walls, smashed windows, used flagpoles to beat police and breached the U.S. Capitol in a bid to overturn a free and fair election, Donald Trump’s excommunication from the Republican Party seemed a near certainty, his name tarnished beyond repair, reports the AP.
Some of his closest allies, including Fox News Channel hosts like Laura Ingraham, warned that day that Trump was “destroying” his legacy. “All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough,” said his friend and confidant Sen. Lindsey Graham. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader who worked closely with Trump to dramatically reshape the judiciary, later denounced him as “morally responsible” for the attack.
But one year later, Trump is hardly a leader in exile. Instead, he is the undisputed leader of the Republican Party and a leading contender for the 2024 presidential nomination.
Trump is positioning himself as a powerful force in the primary campaigns that will determine who gets the party’s backing heading into the fall midterms, when control of Congress, governor’s offices and state election posts are at stake. At least for now, there’s little stopping Trump as he makes unbending fealty to his vision of the GOP a litmus test for success in primary races, giving ambitious Republicans little incentive to cross him.
“Let’s just say I’m horrendously disappointed,” said former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a longtime Republican who now serves on the advisory committee of the Renew America Movement, a group trying to wrest the party away from Trump’s control.
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