Former president Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign commissioned an outside research firm in a bid to prove electoral fraud claims but never released the findings because the firm disputed many of his theories and could not offer any proof that he was the rightful winner of the election, the Washington Post reports.
“The campaign paid researchers from Berkeley Research Group, the people said, to study 2020 election results in six states, looking for fraud and irregularities to highlight in public and in the courts. Among the areas examined were voter machine malfunctions, instances of dead people voting and any evidence that could
“Governor Ron DeSantis is actively preparing a run for president in 2024, even as he delays a formal announcement to keep Republican voters’ attention on his aggressively conservative record in Florida,” Bloomberg reports.
“Behind the scenes, DeSantis and his tight-knit team of advisers are interviewing national consultants to work on a presidential campaign. A retreat for roughly 150 donors, GOP leaders and lawmakers is planned for the final weekend in February at a hotel in Palm Beach, where DeSantis will tout his record as governor.”
“Aides are speaking to and vetting operatives in early states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, who could oversee on-the-ground operations and ensure the campaign meets every requirement to qualify for the primaries, and his allies are starting to stand up a super-PAC to support his nascent candidacy, according to two people briefed on the plans.”
Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R) responded to Donald Trump’s sharing of photos showing him partying with high school girls: “I spend my time delivering results for the people of FL .. that’s how I spend my time. I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) “has taken his most significant step yet in exploring a White House bid, launching a national political organization that’s a popular tool for prospective presidential candidates testing the waters,” NBC News reports.
“The move comes after weeks in which Sununu has publicly teased entering the GOP primary, which officially kicks off with a first–in-the-nation contest in his home state, giving him automatic name ID and familiarity.”
Kevin McCarthy raised $12.3 million on Wednesday evening at his first major fundraising event since his bitter battle for the House speaker’s gavel last month,” Politico reports.
“The event, hosted by key McCarthy ally and mega lobbyist Jeff Miller, represented a record-fundraising haul for the California Republican. It came one day after he sat quietly behind President Joe Biden for the State of the Union.”
NBC News: “Started in 2012 to energize young conservatives, the group has quickly grown to become a sort of quasi-party apparatus in its own right through organizing, holding rallies with prominent conservatives and, perhaps most importantly, tying itself closely to former President Donald Trump and his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.”
“But, like for many groups on the right, the past few months have been rough following the GOP’s underwhelming midterm performance. Some Republicans now question whether the group and its founder, Charlie Kirk, were overhyped, particularly after top-of-the-ticket losses for candidates it went all in for in Arizona, the state where it bases its operations and which it seeks to use as a testing ground.”
“A bigger problem for Kirk and Turning Point, however, is that they may be losing the confidence of their most important supporter: Trump.”
Fox News: “With recent news that fringe 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is headed to New Hampshire in the coming weeks, and with word this week that environmental lawyer and anti-COVID vaccine crusader Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will hold an event in the state early next month, the possibility of potential primary challenges to Biden is moving a bit closer to reality.”
“Members of the North Carolina Democratic Party on Saturday ousted their sitting chair, first vice chair, and second vice chair, voting instead to elect new candidates to the top four leadership positions,” WRAL reports.
“The overhaul comes three months after the party failed to win a single statewide race in the midterm elections. And two months after Meredith Cuomo, who had served as the party’s executive director since 2019, announced her resignation.”
“Republicans on Saturday narrowly picked an activist who has promoted unfounded election conspiracies and promised a shakeup to lead the Kansas GOP for the next two years, following weeks of infighting that mirrors the acrimony in the party across the U.S.,” the AP reports.
“Within 30 minutes of the change in the Kansas Republican Party’s leadership, its state committee reviewed a resolution demanding that the U.S. House impeach President Joe Biden for ‘tyranny’ over comments he and his aides made in the summer of 2021 decrying misinformation about coronavirus vaccines spreading within the GOP.”
“Longtime Donald Trump adviser Jason Miller is joining his 2024 presidential campaign as the operation starts building out its team based in West Palm Beach, Fla.,” Politico reports.
“Miller — who worked on Trump’s 2016 and 2020 bids — is stepping down from his role as the CEO of GETTR, a right-wing social media site that was developed to rival Twitter but was often overshadowed by Trump’s own platform, Truth Social. Miller’s 2024 role will be as senior adviser, similar to the one he played in 2020, in which he provided strategic guidance for the campaign.”
Since he left office, Donald Trump’s various political committees have spent $905,570 at his own properties, the HuffPost reports.
Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) endorsed former President Donald Trump’s bid to return to the White House on Friday, becoming the fifth Republican and third freshman senator to offer his support, Politico reports.
Politico: “It is a comment echoed in interviews with dozens of Republican party members, donors, strategists and grassroots leaders, many of whom say it is the conversation they are all having privately among themselves too — how to make sure that Trump doesn’t once again take advantage of a split field and walk away with the Republican nomination, costing the party not just the presidency but a chance to retake the Senate and hold on to the House.”
“It is also a conversation reminiscent of one many had before. Back in 2016, senior Republicans fretted that putting Trump on top of the ticket would spell certain doom.”