Donald Trump · Republican Party

Meeting between Trump, Ohio Senate candidates turns tense

The awkward confrontation for the Senate hopefuls

The shadow man: Donald Trump has not yet formally endorsed any candidate in the Senate race

.politics
POLITICS PRESS GROUP

A meeting President Trump held with four hopefuls vying for Ohio’s open Senate seat during a fundraiser at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday night soon turned tense, according to Politico. Trump was holding the fundraiser to benefit Max Miller, a candidate he’s supporting in an upcoming Ohio House race in the hopes of ousting a sitting Republican who backed his impeachment.

But he reportedly took the opportunity to convene a group of candidates looking to fill the seat that will be left vacant by Sen. Rob Portman (R), who is not seeking reelection in 2022.

Before the dinner kicked off, according to Politico, Trump met in a backroom with former state Treasurer Josh Mandel; former state GOP Chair Jane Timken; tech executive Bernie Moreno; and investment banker Mike Gibbons to discuss the Senate race.

Mandel and Timken have already announced their bids for the seat, while Moreno and Gibbons are expected to jump in soon.

The meeting, which reportedly lasted 15 minutes, was described to Politico by one source as being like the “Hunger Games,” and a surprise, awkward confrontation for the Senate hopefuls.

According to sources cited by Politico, the huddle covered everything from the candidates’ support of Trump and opposition to his impeachment, previous endorsements and donations, and early polling in the race.

During the meeting, Trump noted that Timken at one point defended Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), the Republican who supported the former president’s impeachment, according to Politico.

A source close to one of the candidates told The Hill that Trump asked Mandel why he abandoned his planned 2018 campaign against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). Mandel dropped out in January of that year, citing a need to spend more time with his family.

Trump mentioned Timken in his subsequent speech backing Max Miller, the only Senate candidate who got a mention.

Sources told Politico that Mandel and Timken seemed to be trying to one up each other in the meeting. The Hill has reached out to representatives for both candidates.

Trump has not yet formally endorsed any candidate in the Senate race, though the reported meeting reflects how valuable his endorsement is for ambitious Republicans looking to win seats in Congress.

One potential candidate not present at the meeting was Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who responded to Politico’s article by retweeting it along with a gif of talk show host Stephen Colbert sitting back and eating popcorn.

Read more

Donald Trump digs in on attacks against Republican leaders

Former President Trump is showing no signs of wanting to unify the GOP even as party leaders scramble to smooth out divisions that they fear will be damaging in the 2022 midterm elections. In a Saturday night speech to attendees at a donor retreat in Florida, Trump railed against his perceived enemies in both parties and offered little, if any, reassurance that he would try to rally together a GOP riddled with internal divisions and desperate to regain governing power in Washington.

Facebook knew of Honduran president’s manipulation campaign – and let it go

Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.

Republicans ridiculed for gifting Trump ‘Made Up’ tiny bowl award

Donald Trump and his Republican faithful faced ridicule on Monday after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) posted an image of himself presenting the former president with the so-called “Champion for Freedom” award over the weekend. “President Trump fought for American workers, secured the border, and protected our constitutional rights,” Scott tweeted, alongside the image of himself with Trump holding a ceremonial dish.

'Unemployed' Trump 'has nothing else to do' but 'cause trouble'

Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday said the "unemployed" former President Trump has nothing better to do than stir up trouble following his departure from Washington. "Here's a guy who's unemployed, has nothing else to do but cause trouble. And clearly, it's obvious to me that he's not going away," Boehner said on "The View."