Former President Donald Trump has reportedly, for the moment, put the idea of a possible third party on hold, and is setting his sights on focusing on possible primary challenges to “Never Trump” Republicans, according to Newsmax.
After the inauguration of Joe Biden, it had been reported that Trump had been talking with allies about creating a new third party, the “Patriot Party.”
Aides close to Trump said the third party idea came about after he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had exchanged words.
McConnell blamed Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Trump Thinking Senate Conviction Not Likely
New York Times Washington Correspondent Maggie Haberman reported that the third party was partly a means to stop Republicans from voting to convict him in the impeachment trial, but Trump does not feel that there will be any impeachment conviction in the Senate.
Seventeen Republicans would be needed to vote to convict in a Senate trial.
Haberman said Sunday, “In last 24 hours, after floating through a few folks that he was considering creating a third-party as a way to keep Senate R’s in line ahead of impeachment, Trump has been talked out of that and is making clear to people he isn’t pursuing it, per ppl familiar w his thinking.”
In last 24 hours, after floating through a few folks that he was considering creating a third-party as a way to keep Senate Rs in line ahead of impeachment, Trump has been talked out of that and is making clear to people he isn’t pursuing it, per ppl familiar w his thinking.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 24, 2021
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It has been nearly three weeks since Trump supporters protesting the certification of the electoral college votes stormed the Capitol building.
Many members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have accused Trump of inciting the violence.
Haberman went on to say, “Trump has started to believe there are fewer votes to convict than there would have been if the vote had been held almost immediately after Jan. 6, the people familiar with his thinking said.”
Trump has started to believe there are fewer votes to convict than there would have been if the vote had been held almost immediately after Jan. 6, the people familiar with his thinking said.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 24, 2021
Possible Primary Targets For Trump
While there is no official word from Donald Trump yet about primary challenges, his son Eric was floating the idea even before the certification vote.
There are several prominent “Never Trump” Republicans in Washington that could make possible primary targets.
Not only is Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) in trouble at home and has already gained a primary challenger for 2022, several other Republicans have spoken out against Trump in recent weeks.
Immediately following the violence at the Capitol, Utah Senator Mitt Romney chastised Trump, “What happened at the U.S. Capitol today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.”
Romney also stated that he believes that impeachment could bring “unity in our country.”
The Utah Senator has been famously “Never Trump,” since before the 2016 election.
What happened at the U.S. Capitol today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States. https://t.co/NojKm86sZ2
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) January 6, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also joined in by saying, “The mob was fed lies,” and went on to say that the Capitol riot was “provoked by the President.”
10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump could theoretically fire up Trump supporters for primary challenges. They include:
- Newly-elected Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer
- Liz Cheney
- South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice
- Washington Reps. Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler
- Never Trump Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who once considered a third party challenge for President against Trump
- Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
- Michigan Rep. Fred Upton
- New York Rep. John Katko
- California Rep. David Valadao
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said impeaching Trump was “appropriate,” but has not said if she would vote to convict.
Trump Considering Several Future Plans?
There has been much speculation as to what Trump’s future plans might include, besides starting a third party.
Rick Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence and one of Donald Trump’s most loyal Senior administration officials, said that Trump has said told him “personally, numerous times, he does want to run again.”
Grenell also said that “Trump needs the Republican Party as much as it needs him.”
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) January 25, 2021
Another possibility mentioned was Trump starting his own media outlet.
A report from Axios in November claims that Trump had told friends he wanted to start a digital media company to rival Fox News.
Many conservatives believe Fox made a huge mistake on election night by calling Arizona early for Joe Biden.