How Trump is building a political operation to cement his hold on the GOP

Over meals and many Diet Cokes, Trump has already started building his post-White House political operation and cementing his role as the party’s de facto leader. He has begun to formalize a structure of political advisers around him and made plans to start a new super PAC — capable of raising donations of any size — to support candidates he favors. His team is looking to formalize a process for vetting endorsement prospects, assessing what candidates have said and done for Trump in the past…

He has begun intervening to pick favorites in GOP primaries, endorsing on Friday a former aide challenging a House member who voted for his impeachment. But he is not planning to go up against every Republican who defied him, they said. “What’s the point of a civil war in a party you basically control?” joked one Republican operative close to Trump…

“It’s Donald Trump’s party. It’s the party of [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene,” said Sarah Longwell, a GOP strategist who founded Republican Voters Against Trump. “We are maybe 10 percent. Trump needed to be thoroughly repudiated. Only then could you have a fight for the soul of the Republican Party. That didn’t happen.”

Trump’s new life, as a king in his own domain, in many way resembles the life he led before running for president, full of meetings and phone calls focused on figuring out how to grow his power and prestige.