Three dozen former Trump administration officials are strategizing against former President Donald Trump’s efforts in 2022 and 2024, regarding him as a threat to the continuation of the democratic process.
The group, which includes some of Trump’s most prominent critics, including former Trump White House communications directors Alyssa Farah Griffin and Anthony Scaramucci, former counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Pence Olivia Troye, and former national security adviser John Bolton, have only begun their discussions and could not yet agree on a path forward, placing them, at least at this juncture, behind the efforts of their former boss.
According to one participant who took part in the group’s first conference call, it was a surprise to see “a lot of faces I had not seen speaking publicly about why Trump is dangerous. People who had not previously spoken out who were now willing to speak out and share their perspective.”
Speaking to CNN, Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security who penned a now-infamous op-ed as an “Anonymous” member of the Trump administration critical of its policies, helped lead the call and described participants as “overflowing with ideas.”
“We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don’t mean anything,” he told the news network. “The two operative words are ‘electoral effects.’ How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?”
The news of the call comes as tensions rise between Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump has complained for months about DeSantis’s political ascent, behavior that has been criticized by Sam Nunberg, his former adviser who stressed that he is neutral in the clash between Trump and DeSantis.
“President Trump is the one clearly picking a fight here, and it’s a fight that’s too early and unnecessary,” Nunberg said. “We’re not in Republican primary season. This is a fight for mid-2023. It’s not a fight to start having in 2022. If Donald Trump believes he is punching down when he’s attacking Ron DeSantis, then why do it?”
Trump is reportedly frustrated that DeSantis has not publicly confirmed whether he will run against Trump in 2024. He also criticized politicians who won’t confirm if they’ve received COVID-19 booster shots as “gutless,” a claim that many have construed as an attack against DeSantis.
DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, dismissed reports of the tension between Trump and DeSantis as a “fabricated media narrative.”
Trump’s staffers have confirmed that the former President views 2022 as a chance to repair his image and rebrand his legacy. He plans to hold at least two rallies per month through August.
“It’s clear to Republicans that it’s likely to be a good year and President Trump wants to be one of the leading indicators of why the GOP had a good year at the ballot box. So we will see more engagement from him in the coming months,” said Trump adviser Bryan Lanza.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.