Behind the scenes: After congratulating Cawthorn, Trump told the young real estate investor that he didn’t even know Bennett, and that his team had told him to endorse her, according to two sources familiar with the call. The real story is even knottier.
Early on the morning of June 4, Trump got a call from Debbie Meadows, the chief of staff’s wife, according to a source with direct knowledge. She persuaded Trump to endorse her close friend, Bennett, and later that morning Trump tweeted out his endorsement.
Trump’s tweet surprised a number of people in his political orbit. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was unhappy about the endorsement and told Trump that he thought he’d made a mistake and that Cawthorn would win, according to a source familiar with McCarthy’s thinking.
Soon after he tweeted his endorsement, Trump started to get nervous that Bennett would lose and spoil his record of endorsing winners.