Trump intimidates with MAGA party threats
PALM BEACH, Fla. —Former president Donald Trump threw himself back into politics this weekend by publicly endorsing state party chairwoman Kelli Ward, a devoted and divisive acolyte in Arizona who has embraced his false election conspiracy theories and entertained the creation of a new “MAGA Party.” She narrowly won reelection, by a margin of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, marking Trump’s first victory in a promised battle to maintain political relevance and influence after losing the 2020 election.
In recent weeks, Trump has entertained the idea of creating a third party, called the Patriot Party, and instructed his aides to prepare election challenges to lawmakers who crossed him in the final weeks in office. Multiple people in Trump’s orbit, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, say Trump has told people that the third-party threat gives him leverage to prevent Republican senators from voting to convict him during the Senate impeachment trial. Trump advisers also say they plan to recruit opposing primary candidates and commission polling next week in districts of targeted lawmakers. Trump has more than $70 million in campaign cash banked to fund his political efforts, these people say.
The prospect of a divisive battle threatens to widen a split in the Republican Party and has alarmed leaders in Washington. Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel spoke out about the idea of a third-party split, while repeatedly pushing back against moves by Arizona state party leaders to censure fellow Republicans, such as Gov. Doug Ducey and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who have broken with Trump. (The Arizona party on Saturday night censured Ducey, McCain and former Arizona senator Jeff Flake, all longtime establishment Republicans.)
The central issue between the warring party elements is whether Republicans will continue to organize themselves around fealty to Trump or whether a broader coalition should be built in the coming years that can welcome both his most avid supporters and those who have condemned his behavior.
“Having differences in the party is fine. Being a party that is adamantly against cancel culture, we need to recognize that purging isn’t good.
Corporate Sponsors intimidate with threats of withhold funding for MAGA politicians
Lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden as president may also be rethinking their stance after losing corporate funding, experts told Insider.
“Cutting funding hits these politicians where it hurts,” Donald Hambrick, a professor of management at Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, told Insider.
Withholding donations is “probably the more profound of the actions that can be taken,” he added. “I think senators are gonna be squirming,” Hambrick said.
As more FBI reports and video footage of the riots are released, more companies will take action, making “senators squirm all the more,” Hambrick added. This could ultimately affect how senators vote, he said. “The Senate vote could be very much not be in Trump’s favor.”
Trump’s closest political allies are under pressure from some members of the party to continue supporting Trump and from companies and other politicians to pull away from him, Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Insider.
As more information is released related to the siege, “it’s gonna be uglier and uglier, and employees and customers are gonna lean on these companies to do something and basically punish the Republicans who helped bring this about,” Hambrick said.
Companies are getting increasingly political. “A lot of us are hesitant to wade into political waters,” a CEO told Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, founder of Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute, on condition of anonymity. “We don’t want to bring politics into the boardroom or to our employees.”
“But we need to recognize that threats to the rule of law are legitimate business issues,” they continued. “It’s totally legitimate and therefore also very important that we speak out on these issues.”