Republicans largely oppose forming a commission to examine the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, hoping to block out further Donald Trump-induced chaos while they try to retake Congress next year.
The former president is making clear he isn’t going anywhere.
Trump is confiding in allies that he intends to run again in 2024 with one contingency: that he still has a good bill of health, according to two sources close to the former president. That means Trump is going to hang over the Republican Party despite its attempts to rebrand during his exile and its blockade of a Trump-centric investigation into January’s insurrection.
And amid news that the Manhattan district attorney has convened a grand jury that could decide to indict Trump, other executives working for him or the business itself, Trump publicly signaled this week that he’s considering another run. But he may face skepticism from surprising corners of the GOP, as some Republicans who supported him consistently during his presidency have mixed opinions about the possibility of a Trump 2024 campaign, according to interviews with 20 Republicans in both the House and Senate.
“President Trump did a lot of good. But he squandered a lot of his legacy after what happened after Nov. 3. And I think that’s a shame,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was the GOP whip for Trump’s first two years in office. “Running for president, you’re under a lot of scrutiny. And all I can say is there’s a lot to talk about.”
Even without a Twitter presence, the former president still dominates the Republican water cooler. He’s working to oust those who backed his impeachment, namely Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), as well as boost his preferred candidates in battleground Senate primaries.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the middleman between Trump and the Hill GOP these days, said that the ex-president’s plans to devise a still-nascent “America First” messaging drive will put Trump “in charge of the policy agenda.” And Trump’s future, his semi-regular golfing partner suggested, might hinge on how his party handles the next 18 months.