Tag Archives: Trump

New York eyeing cooperation with another Trump Org exec to ‘turn up the heat’ on Weisselberg: Florida prosecutor

On CNN Friday, Palm Beach County, Florida state attorney Dave Aronberg discussed how the efforts of New York prosecutors to get the cooperation of Trump Organization COO and former Trump bodyguard Matthew Calamari puts extra pressure on CFO Allen Weisselberg to try for a deal himself.

Weisselberg, despite being indicted along with the Trump Organization itself on tax charges, has so far shown no interest in cooperating against the organization, the former president, or his family.

“What does it tell you, Dave, that prosecutors are now trying to get Matthew Calamari … to cooperate?” asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.

“It definitely turns up the heat on Allen Weisselberg, who is out there on an island by himself,” said Aronberg. “The indictment of Weisselberg and the Trump Organization, Wolf, said there were two other employees who received substantial amounts of compensation in the form of lodging in New York City and car leases.”

Given that the Calimaris live in Trump apartment buildings, Aronberg continued, it seems natural that prosecutors would explore a cooperation agreement with them.

Watch below:

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Dave Aronberg says Matthew Calamari investigation could pressure Allen Weisselberg


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This post originally posted here usnews

Bernstein: Top US general compared Trump to ‘Hitlerian fascism’

During a discussion about excerpts from “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, CNN’s Carl Bernstein points out that the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley compared former President Donald Trump’s behavior to Adolph Hitler and Nazi-style fascism.

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This post originally posted here CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

New excerpts detail responses from the top US military officer and others in the final days of the Trump administration

The book, from Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, describes how Milley and the other Joint Chiefs discussed a plan to resign, one-by-one, rather than carry out orders from Trump that they considered to be illegal, dangerous or ill-advised.
“It was a kind of Saturday Night Massacre in reverse,” Leonnig and Rucker write.
The book, “I Alone Can Fix It,” scheduled to be released next Tuesday, chronicles Trump’s final year as president, with a behind-the-scenes look at how senior administration officials and Trump’s inner circle navigated his increasingly unhinged behavior after losing the 2020 election. The authors interviewed Trump for more than two hours.
The book recounts how for the first time in modern US history the nation’s top military officer, whose role is to advise the president, was preparing for a showdown with the commander in chief because he feared a coup attempt after Trump lost the November election.
The authors explain Milley’s growing concerns that personnel moves that put Trump acolytes in positions of power at the Pentagon after the November 2020 election, including the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the resignation of Attorney General William Barr, were the sign of something sinister to come.
Milley spoke to friends, lawmakers and colleagues about the threat of a coup, and the Joint Chiefs chairman felt he had to be “on guard” for what might come.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to the authors. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.”
In the days leading up to January 6, Leonnig and Rucker write, Milley was worried about Trump’s call to action. “Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military.”
Milley viewed Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose,” the authors write, and he saw parallels between Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric as a victim and savior and Trump’s false claims of election fraud.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides, according to the book. “The gospel of the Führer.”
Ahead of a November pro-Trump “Million MAGA March” to protest the election results, Milley told aides he feared it “could be the modern American equivalent of ‘brownshirts in the streets,'” referring to the pro-Nazi militia that fueled Hitler’s rise to power.

‘This is all real, man’

Rucker and Leonnig interviewed more than 140 sources for the book, though most were given anonymity to speak candidly to reconstruct events and dialogue. Milley is quoted extensively and comes off in a positive light as someone who tried to keep democracy alive because he believed it was on the brink of collapse after receiving a warning one week after the election from an old friend.
“What they are trying to do here is overturn the government,” said the friend, who is not named, according to the authors. “This is all real, man. You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff.”
Milley’s reputation took a major hit in June 2020, when he joined Trump during his controversial photo-op at St. John’s Church, after federal forces violently dispersed a peaceful crowd of social justice protesters at Lafayette Square outside the White House. To make matters worse, Milley wore camouflage military fatigues throughout the incident. He later apologized, saying, “I should not have been there.”
Mark Milley testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 4, 2020.
But behind the scenes, the book says Milley was on the frontlines of trying to protect the country, including an episode where he tried to stop Trump from firing FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
Leonnig and Rucker recount a scene when Milley was with Trump and his top aides in a suite at the Army-Navy football game in December, and publicly confronted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“What’s going on? Are you guys getting rid of Wray or Gina?” Milley asked. “Come on chief. What the hell is going on here? What are you guys doing?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Meadows said. “Just some personnel moves.”
“Just be careful,” Milley responded, which Leonnig and Rucker write was said as a warning that he was watching.

‘That doesn’t make any sense’

The book also sheds new light on Trump’s descent into a dark and isolated vacuum of conspiracy theories and self-serving delusions after he was declared the loser of the 2020 election.
After the January 6 insurrection, the book says Milley held a conference call each day with Meadows and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Leonnig and Rucker report the officials used the calls to compare notes and “collectively survey the horizon for trouble.”
“The general theme of these calls was, come hell or high water, there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January twentieth,” one senior official told the authors. “We’ve got an aircraft, our landing gear is stuck, we’ve got one engine, and we’re out of fuel. We’ve got to land this bad boy.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrive for a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for retired four-star Army general Jack Keane in the East Room of the White House March 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Milley told aides he saw the calls as an opportunity to keep tabs on Trump, the authors write.
Leonnig and Rucker also recount a scene where Pompeo visited Milley at home in the weeks before the election, and the two had a heart-to-heart conversation sitting at the general’s table. Pompeo is quoted as saying, “You know the crazies are taking over,” according to people familiar with the conversation.
The authors write that Pompeo, through a person close to him, denied making the comments attributed to him and said they were not reflective of his views.
In recent weeks Trump has attacked Milley, who is still the Joint Chiefs chairman in the Biden administration, after he testified to Congress about January 6.

‘You f**king did this’

The book also contains several striking anecdotes about prominent women during the Trump presidency, including GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former first lady Michelle Obama.
The book details a phone call the day after the January 6 insurrection between Milley and Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has close military ties. Cheney voted to impeach Trump and has been an outspoken critic of his election lies, leading to her ouster from House GOP leadership.
Milley asked Cheney how she was doing.
“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a b*tch,” Cheney said, according to the book.
Cheney bluntly relayed to Milley what she experienced on the House floor on January 6 while pro-Trump rioters overran police and breached the Capitol building, including a run-in with Jordan, a staunch Trump ally in the House who feverishly tried to overturn the election.
Cheney described to Milley her exchange with Jordan: “While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.’ I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You f**king did this.'”

‘Crazy,’ ‘dangerous,’ ‘maniac’

The book reveals Pelosi’s private conversations with Milley during this tenuous period. When Trump fired Esper in November, Pelosi was one of several lawmakers who called Milley. “We are all trusting you,” she said. “Remember your oath.”
After the January 6 insurrection, Pelosi told the general she was deeply concerned that a “crazy,” “dangerous” and “maniac” Trump might use nuclear weapons during his final days in office.
“Ma’am, I guarantee you these processes are very good,” Milley reassured her. “There’s not going to be an accidental firing of nuclear weapons.”
“How can you guarantee me?” Pelosi asked.
“Ma’am, there’s a process,” he said. “We will only follow legal orders. We’ll only do things that are legal, ethical, and moral.”
A week after the insurrection, Pelosi led House Democrats’ second impeachment of Trump for inciting the insurrection. In an interview with the authors, Pelosi said she fears another president could try to pick up where Trump left off.
“We might get somebody of his ilk who’s sane, and that would really be dangerous, because it could be somebody who’s smart, who’s strategic, and the rest,” Pelosi said. “This is a slob. He doesn’t believe in science. He doesn’t believe in governance. He’s a snake-oil salesman. And he’s shrewd. Give him credit for his shrewdness.”

‘That b*tch’

The book quotes Trump, who had a strained relationship with Merkel, as telling his advisers during an Oval Office meeting about NATO and the US relationship with Germany, “That b*tch Merkel.”
“‘I know the f**king krauts,’ the president added, using a derogatory term for German soldiers from World War I and World War II,” Leonnig and Rucker write. “Trump then pointed to a framed photograph of his father, Fred Trump, displayed on the table behind the Resolute Desk and said, ‘I was raised by the biggest kraut of them all.'”
Trump, through a spokesman, denied to the authors making these comments.

‘No one has a bigger smile’

After January 6, Milley participated in a drill with military and law enforcement leaders to prepare for the January 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden. Washington was on lockdown over fears that far-right groups like the Proud Boys might try to violently disrupt the transfer of power.
Milley told a group of senior leaders, “Here’s the deal, guys: These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II. We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.”
Trump did not attend the inauguration, in a notable break with tradition, and the event went off without incident.
As the inauguration ceremony ended, Kamala Harris, who had just been sworn in as vice president, paused to thank Milley. “We all know what you and some others did,” she said, according to the authors. “Thank you.”
The book ends with Milley describing his relief that there had not been a coup, thinking to himself, “Thank God Almighty, we landed the ship safely.”
Milley expressed his relief in the moments after Biden was sworn in, speaking to the Obamas sitting on the inauguration stage. Michelle Obama asked Milley how he was feeling.
“No one has a bigger smile today than I do,” Milley said, according to Leonnig and Rucker. “You can’t see it under my mask, but I do.”

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This post originally posted here CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

Twitter blocked Trump, but he was not upset, but created a social analogue network

True, it is still not clear what is its place in the invention of this application.

The team of former US President Donald Trump, after being blocked on Twitter, created a very similar social network. The beta version of Gettr has been available since July 1, Politico reports.

Already on July 4, on the Independence Day of the United States, the application will be officially launched.

Gettr will be able to write messages with 777 characters, add videos longer than 3 minutes, and also broadcast live. Also, users will be able to repost from Twitter.

“The new social network is designed to protect freedom of speech, promote healthy meaning, fight the monopoly of social networks and create a real market for ideas,” the media reported.

Former Trump speaker Jason Miller became the head of the platform. The project was also joined by his ex-director of communications during the election campaign, Tim Merto.

It is not yet clear what exactly Trump has to do with this social network.

Earlier, Twitter announced its decision to indefinitely freeze the personal account of former US President Donald Trump, as it considered his publications capable of provoking violence.

It explains that such a decision is dictated by “the risk of further incitement to violence.”

Earlier, a number of other American social networks made similar decisions. Dissatisfaction has been sparked by Trump’s recent publications in which he indirectly urged violent demonstrators at a recent protest in Washington.

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This post originally posted here The European Times News

More money, more problems: Cheney and Kinzinger feel Trump effect

Exile in the House GOP is proving extremely lucrative for Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

Cheney and Kinzinger are the most prominent anti-Trump voices among congressional Republicans, casting two of the 10 House GOP votes to impeach the former president and — unlike the other eight — sparing no opportunity in the months since to rebuke a party that has tethered itself to his image. That’s left them in a precarious position as they seek reelection back home and alienated them from the rest of their party in D.C.

It’s also given them a new route onto the national stage. The Wyoming and Illinois Republican allies may end up losing their seats next fall to primary challengers who are hugging the Trump machine. But the campaign war chests they’ve amassed could help launch the duo’s political careers outside of the House, or even Congress.

“They’re very encouraged by what they see in fundraising and by what they’re starting to hear on the ground,” said former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), a fellow GOP Trump critic and a friend of the two. “Nobody thinks of cascading effects … The fact is, there’s a significant portion of Republicans who do not support Donald Trump anyway, who’re looking at Adam and Liz to sort of carry that conservative banner nationally.”

Cheney, who lost her slot as House GOP conference chair in May, hauled in close to $ 1.9 million in the last quarter, bringing her to nearly $ 3.5 million total this year. Only halfway through 2021, those fundraising numbers trounce the $ 3 million she raised during the 2020 cycle. Cheney’s donations also surpassed her leadership successor’s, with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) bringing in $ 1.5 million in the second quarter.

Kinzinger, who represents a deep-red district in exurban Chicago, never raised more than $ 350,000 in a single quarter during the 2020 cycle. But during the first three months of 2021 — after his support for the second Trump impeachment — he skyrocketed to $ 1.1 million.

While their rising profiles give them a new megaphone as well as deep pockets, it’s not clear whether either incumbent has a path to victory running as an anti-Trump candidate in a GOP primary. Still, their shaky futures in the House haven’t stopped some Republicans on Capitol Hill from privately musing whether Cheney and Kinzinger are eyeing future bids for the Oval Office. Both have also recently created PACs and aligned publicly with law enforcement officers as some in their party decline to honor responders to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, both signals of possible interest in a higher office.

Allies of Cheney, whose April reluctance to rule out a future White House run helped accelerate her ouster from leadership, say that at a minimum her fundraising numbers will help her fight back against Trump as he tries to boot her from the political arena.

Cheney’s team touted its haul, first reported by Fox News, as proof that she has “robust support in this fight” to win reelection in her state’s at-large district.

“Liz is demonstrating the type of effective, principled leadership that Wyoming deserves from its Representative,” spokesperson Kevin Seifert said in a statement. “She will continue to fight the Biden administration’s overreach and articulate how Republicans can offer a better way forward for the nation. It’s encouraging to have so many join her effort.”

Among Cheney and Kinzinger’s conference colleagues, some were quick to dismiss the prospect that anti-Trumpers could have any room atop the party’s ticket.

“Anyone who thinks there’s a different path for higher office in a Republican primary other than the Trump platform is delusional,” said Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), who identified as a Cheney ally before her spring leadership eviction. “I have not spoken with Liz or Adam about their long-term goals. However, maybe looking at the battle they face in a primary, they think higher office is an easier path.”

Other Republicans waved off the idea that Cheney and Kinzinger are focused on anything beyond their House reelection bids. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said he presumes Cheney and Kinzinger’s numbers mean they are “coming in with as much as ammo as possible to win reelection.”

If Trump seeks the presidency again in 2024, he is expected to clear the field of multiple allies also weighing a potential bid. But he has no power to elbow away Cheney or Kinzinger, both establishment conservatives who’ve embraced the role of his foils. Kinzinger is also believed to be weighing a run for Senate or the governor’s mansion in his state, though his chances would be limited by Republicans’ struggle to win statewide in Illinois.

Back in Wyoming’s at-large district, Cheney’s largesse — she has over $ 2.8 million cash on hand — will dwarf that of her challengers. Since her election in 2016, Cheney has remained a strong fundraiser, armed with her father’s rolodex of conservative donors and a last name that still commands prestige in the state where former Vice President Dick Cheney got his political start.

Even so, her opponents have cast her crusade against Trump as a self-serving exercise that won’t endear her to Wyomingites. And rather than shying from this potentially political kryptonite, Cheney is expected to lean even more heavily into her anti-Trump campaign while serving on the select committee examining the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, at the appointment of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Either she needed to get rid of him because she wanted to be president … or it was to settle a political score,” said Darin Smith, an attorney challenging Cheney in the GOP primary. “Because I think Trump is on record saying that the Cheney family is responsible for trillions of dollars blown by the United States and millions of lives lost around the world.”

Smith said he had raised $ 175,000 in the roughly two months since he launched his bid. Her other primary foes have not reported their fundraising.

Cheney’s best chance of survival is the crowded field of challengers that have assembled to try to take her down. If they splinter the anti-Cheney vote, the incumbent could win with a plurality and find herself with an even more compelling profile: the anti-Trump Republican who defied the odds to survive and win reelection.

When asked whether she has a Plan B should she lose her bid, Cheney told POLITICO in May only that “I’m not gonna lose my seat.”

Kinzinger is perhaps in a more precarious situation: Illinois is losing a House seat in forthcoming redistricting, and he could find himself without any district with which to run.

Even if his exurban Chicago district remains somewhat intact, the Air Force veteran has six challengers who have lined up to take him on, including former Trump adviser Catalina Lauf.

But there are plenty of future opportunities for Kinzinger to run statewide; Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, both Democrats, are up for reelection in 2022. And he has not ruled out a run for either office.

“You can’t help but be impressed by fundraising numbers like that, especially coming from a rural district,” former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) said of Kinzinger’s intake. Dold admitted it would be difficult for Republicans to win statewide in Illinois but said it was not impossible, particularly given that the state’s flailing finances have put its Democrats on the back foot.

Stellar fundraising aside, some of Cheney and Kinzinger’s decisions have puzzled other Republicans. Cheney’s decision to serve on the Jan. 6 panel means she could be distracted from her reelection well into next year.

“I voted against [a bipartisan Jan. 6 probe] with the view that it’s a third impeachment trial, if you will, but everybody that knows Liz knows that Liz speaks for herself,” said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Senate Republican.

Asked if he supports Cheney’s re-election, Barrasso replied: “That’s a long way away. The primaries are not for over a year.”

Burgess Everett contributed to this report.

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This post originally posted here Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

‘Get on the team or shut up’: How Trump created an army of GOP enforcers

From the earliest days of his presidency Donald Trump and his political team worked to re-engineer the infrastructure of the Republican Party, installing allies in top leadership posts in key states.

The effect has been dramatic — and continues to reverberate nearly six months after he left office.

In Oklahoma, the newly installed party chair is endorsing a primary challenge to GOP Sen. James Lankford, the home state incumbent who crossed Trump by voting to uphold results of the November election. In Michigan, the state party chair joked about assassinating two Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump. Arizona’s state chair accused Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of nothing less than killing people by restricting the use of hydroxychloroquine, a Trump obsession, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

There and elsewhere, state party chairs have been at the center of a raft of resolutions to censure or rebuke GOP lawmakers deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump.

In red states, blue states and swing states, these leaders — nearly all of whom were elected during Trump’s presidency or right after — are redefining the traditional role of the state party chair. They are emerging not just as guardians of the former president’s political legacy, but as chief enforcers of Trumpism within the GOP.

It figures to be a boon for him if he runs for another term in 2024, but also carries the risk of tying the party’s fortunes too closely to an ex-president whose political brand is toxic to many voters.

“It’s purity tests, 100 percent,” said Landon Brown, a Republican state lawmaker from Wyoming whose state party chair, Frank Eathorne, earned Trump’s public endorsement for reelection this year after the state party censured Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach Trump. “When it comes to the party, what I have started seeing, especially in the past four to five years … it’s much more a hard-line, defined, ‘If you don’t vote this way, you’re not a Republican.’”

Open warring by state party chairs against elected officials was once rare, and disagreements were typically kept discreet in the interest of party unity. Top party leaders were tasked with party-building efforts and fundraising, and were accustomed to showing deference to home state senators and governors, or working assiduously to advance their political interests.

But Trump’s penchant for intra-party conflict and demands for absolute loyalty changed the equation. As president-elect, he personally intervened in an effort to oust an Ohio state chair who had been critical of him. In endorsing Eathorne’s reelection in April, Trump cited Eathorne’s role in censuring Cheney. In his March endorsement of David Shafer, the Georgia party chair, Trump said, “No one in Georgia fought harder for me than David!”

Shafer had gone so far as to join a lawsuit challenging the November election results, litigating against his own state’s Republican chief election officer. The state party formally rebuked Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, at its convention last month.

Between Trump’s still-domineering hand on the party and a GOP base that remains intensely loyal to the former president, the imperative for state party chairs is to intertwine his interests with that of the party — fearful that failing to do so may alienate supporters. This is despite Trump’s failure to win a second term and the loss of Republican majorities in Congress during his watch.

“The party’s been taken over by people who have been elected since he became the president who in effect said, ‘Get on the team or shut up,’” said Allen Weh, a former chair of the New Mexico Republican Party and a Trump ally.

That dynamic has served to elevate the importance of party chairs as political actors — in some cases rivaling those who are actually on the ballot. The chairs have significant latitude in their states — from candidate recruitment, to deciding which candidates to invite to plum speaking engagements, to how to allocate money for voter registration and other programs. Several state Republican parties canceled their presidential nominating contests entirely in 2020, insulating Trump from long-shot challengers, including in South Carolina. There, the state’s former two-term governor, Mark Sanford, could not even get a hearing.

Bill Weld, a former two-term Massachusetts governor who ran for president in 2020, also hit a wall in his home state. The state party changed the way it awarded delegates to presidential candidates to help ensure that Trump in 2020 would not lose even a single delegate to the state’s former governor, who won reelection in a landslide in the 1990s.

Jim Lyons, the state party’s pro-Trump chair, has clashed bitterly with moderate GOP Gov. Charlie Baker, who’s made clear he’s no fan of Trump. Baker — one of the nation’s most popular governors — has not announced his intentions for 2022 but a Lyons ally and former Trump campaign co-chair in Massachusetts, Geoff Diehl, has already announced his intention to run for governor.

John Thomas, a Republican strategist who works on House campaigns across the country, said the pro-Trump disposition of the vast majority of state party chairs across the country will likely have a “direct impact” on the party’s candidate recruitment and resource allocation ahead of the midterm elections.

“Party chairs, that’s one of their main jobs to recruit candidates, so oftentimes party chairs will recruit them in their image or ideological worldview,” Thomas said, “So I think it’s safe to say, like in Oklahoma, they’re not going to be recruiting candidates that look like [Utah Sen.] Mitt Romney.”

In addition, he said, “Party chairs can decide where to invest in things like voter registration and all that. So, if they have a particular incumbent they don’t like that doesn’t line up with the Trump world view, they can penalize incumbents and potential challengers as well.”

Ultimately, the biggest beneficiary of the party’s shifting composition may be Trump himself, if he runs for another term in 2024. The chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, pledged neutrality when she was reelected to her post following Trump’s defeat. But it’s a different story outside Washington.

“It’s a huge advantage to have a network of support of state party chairs,” said Matt Moore, former chair of the South Carolina Republican Party. “State party chairs have huge megaphones. They choose annual dinner speakers, who gets highlighted in such small things as weekly newsletters. They have a lot of power.”

Drew McKissick, the current South Carolina GOP chair, who was endorsed for re-election this year by Trump not once or twice, but three times, said that Trump “is certainly in a position, because of his experience and the new people and manpower that he brought into the party, to have an incredible number of people support him.”

McKissick said, “He understands the importance of the actual party structure.”

The pro-Trump constellation of GOP state party chairs largely mirrors the sentiment of a Republican electorate that remains overwhelmingly loyal to Trump. And fervent support for the president benefited parties across the country, with a surge in participation at the local level. Georgia Republicans saw record crowds at local organizing meetings earlier this year, with many of the newcomers excited about Trump and furious at the results of the election. The number of activists and volunteers signed up with local parties in South Carolina has roughly doubled since McKissick was first elected in 2017, he said, numbering about 10,000 today.

Though GOP registration in Massachusetts is dwindling, Lyons said Trump has galvanized Republicans at the grassroots level.

At the local level, scores of activists who run local GOP operations have held district or county posts since long before Trump was elected. That’s led some chairs to say the idea that the party has changed dramatically under Trump is overblown. Jennifer Carnahan, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, said the party at its core remains largely unchanged since before Trump was elected. Though Trump did “bring new people” into the party, she said, “A lot of these people have been around for decades, right? … I would say the core heart of the Minnesota GOP activist base, it’s largely these real committed individuals that just have a love for our party, our values.”

But public criticism of Trump is almost unheard of at any level within the ranks of state party leadership — and largely isn’t tolerated within a party operation Trump has spent more than four years molding. The attention the chair of the Oklahoma GOP, John Bennett, is now getting for supporting a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. James Lankford is only the most recent example.

In Alaska over the weekend, state party officials endorsed a primary challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has been critical of Trump. Before that, it was Kelli Ward, the bombastic state party chair, undermining Ducey in Arizona. Eathorne, the Wyoming party chair, was in Washington the day of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, though he said he participated only in peaceful protests.

Brown, the Wyoming state lawmaker, objected to the state party’s censure of Cheney, and he called for Eathorne to resign after the state party chair floated the idea of secession earlier this year.

“I will not attend state party meetings while he is still in office,” Brown said. “It’s an echo chamber in our state party.”

Donald Trump savaged on Twitter over cryptic statement – ‘Sad form of communication’

The former US President has once again become the target of criticism on Twitter after issuing a statement containing only three words. Mr Trump, who exited the White House at the beginning of the year, wrote: “1776, not 1619!”

The statement appears to be a reference to the New York Times’ “1619 Project”.

The project seeks to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

In a speech made during Sunday’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Mr Trump said he intended to ban critical race theory.

He said: “We will completely defund and bar critical race theory. 1776, not 1619, if you don’t mind.

“And if government run schools are going to teach children to hate their country, we will demand school choice that we already have.

“If you listen to the media or watch the evening newscast, our country has really gone bad.

“All we talk about is race. That’s all they talk about. Race. The whole show – race, race.”

Mr Trump no longer has access to his Twitter account after the social media giant banned him following the Capitol Hill riot over concerns he would incite further violence.

However, one social media user shared the 45th President’s statement, prompting scathing replies from his critics.

One person said: “Is he having some sort of mental breakdown?”

Another user added: “Such a sad form of communication.”

A third commenter wrote: “Why doesn’t he just tweet this out… Oh wait lol. Now I remember.”

Some theorised the short statement could be Mr Trump’s covert way of inciting an insurrection among his supporters.

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