Trump pulls strings behind the scenes to help loyal 2022 candidates

Earlier this month, the former President enlisted the help of North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn to persuade former Rep. Mark Walker to end his campaign for Senate and instead run for the House, which could help Trump’s preferred candidate in the GOP Senate primary, Rep. Ted Budd, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump has also had conversations in recent weeks with MAGA-aligned Republicans who are considering challenging GOP governors with whom he has grown disillusioned. The former President urged former Georgia Sen. David Perdue to run against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who resisted Trump’s efforts to overturn his narrow 2020 loss in the state to then-candidate Joe Biden. And he has been receptive to the prospect of Alabama Senate GOP candidate Lynda Blanchard challenging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

The notoriously vengeful former President has told associates he blames Ivey for a decision by the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Commission earlier this summer to prevent him from holding a July 3 rally aboard the retired World War II battleship.