Report: Trump Has Told Republicans to Endorse Him “ASAP” or Suffer the Consequences

In the wake of the midterm elections, Donald Trump has become radioactive within the Republican Party. Oh, sure, there are people who always support him and always will, but, lately, a lot of GOP lawmakers, party mega-donors, and Rupert Murdoch-owned publications have made it clear he should get lost, and that they don’t want to be associated with him. Even previously reliable hangers-on are suddenly all, “Sorry, I’m washing my hair that night.” Even his own daughter, the one he actually likes, is all, “Ooo, I’d love to, but I’m all booked.” And in that context, it makes it extra hilarious that the ex-president, now running for office for a third time, is apparently not only telling Republicans that they better endorse him ASAP but that they’re going to rue the day they crossed him when he wins, which he believes he’s going to.

Rolling Stone reports that in the run-up to last week’s election, Trump “made a series of phone calls to GOP lawmakers and other elected officials, demanding that they endorse him before he announced he’s running—or at least right after, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversations.” He added that he was keeping track of who endorsed him early, and that “those who waited too long” were “not gonna like” the fate that would befall them when he wins. He apparently also said that he was tracking who dumped him for Florida governor Ron DeSantis or other possible 2024 primary opponents, according to sources familiar with the matter. “He said it was ‘not a tough call’ to make and that there was one right move: endorsing him ASAP,” one of the sources told the outlet.

And while no one likes to be threatened—and especially not by a guy who has a documented history of going after his perceived enemies—it appears that the tough talk has…not had the effect that Trump had hoped. As Rolling Stone notes, “the party’s heavy hitters—even some who have previously been quick to stand behind him—have been hesitant to hop on board,” and when the ex-president kicked off his candidacy at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, “Madison Cawthorn, the scandal-ridden outgoing representative from North Carolina, was the only member of Congress who bothered to attend.”

And the story only gets sadder from there:

Even some of Trump’s former official surrogates are, right now, noncommittal. Jack Kingston, a former US congressman from Georgia who worked as a Trump surrogate before and during his presidency, once told Trump, “I’m with you and I’ll stick with you until the curtain comes down.” On Wednesday, asked if he is going to be Trump’s surrogate again or if he’s going to endorse Trump 2024, Kingston replied, “I am a free agent right now. Focusing on the Georgia runoff, among other things.” 

Stephen Moore, another former surrogate and adviser to Trump, was similarly noncommittal when asked about an endorsement: “Not sure yet.” He said, however, “I think if Trump will stay on message about his America First agenda and not obsess about the 2020 elections, then he can be a real force.”

In the last several weeks alone, billionaire Republicans Stephen Schwarzman, Ken Griffin, and Ronald Lauder have publicly dropped him, while his former secretary of state and previously devoted footstool, Mike Pompeo, tweeted: “We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood.” Top party leaders Mitch McConnell, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, and Kevin McCarthy won’t say if they support him.  

In other mob boss behavior, last week Trump told reporters, of DeSantis, “If he did run, I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”

Nancy Pelosi, who will step down from her leadership position, flips Trump off on her way out the door

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