As Trump mocks last election, Republicans worry about next

Mr Reed said the former president’s comments that Republicans do not vote “should warrant sanction from the Republican National Committee.” He warned: “This will have a severe impact on the mid-term of 2022.”

Tensions between Mr McConnell and Mr Trump have intensified in recent times, as the former president has stepped up his attacks on the minority leader, accusing Mr McConnell of “bowing” to Democrats in a recent deal aimed at raising the country’s debt ceiling. He called for the leader’s ouster in a recent interview with Fox News, saying, “Mitch isn’t the guy.”

Mr. Trump’s allies did not deny that he was pleased to see Republicans paying the ultimate political price for what he and a significant portion of his constituents saw as disloyalty.

“President Trump says, ‘Hey, I’m warning you guys. My people don’t come out, ”said Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, who used his podcast to further amplify Mr. Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.“ He couldn’t not be a bigger blow through the arc of the establishment. “

But the more Mr. Trump’s allies make their allegations of electoral fraud, the more difficult it becomes to keep their more hardened supporters happy. Even Ms. Taylor Greene, who is as far-right and pro-Trump as they come to the Republican Party, doesn’t always seem to appeal to the fringe. Lately, she had an online argument with L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta lawyer who helped Mr. Trump cast doubt on his loss in Georgia, on which one of them truly represents the Trump movement. Mr Wood accused her of not doing enough to uncover the cases of voter fraud. She said Mr. Wood is “not one of us”.

Such radicalization comes at a cost, said David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida who is critical of the former president. At a time when major political trends point to problems for the Democratic Party in 2022, he said, Mr. Trump’s actions risk interfering with what should be a good environment for Republicans.

“This should be a 100% referendum on Biden,” Jolly said. “Instead, you have Trump the narcissist trying to inject himself into what should be a descent for Republicans to an incredibly successful election, doing everything for him.”

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