Donald Trump’s closest Hill allies are privately lobbying the former President to get involved in a Republican-on-Republican matchup in Illinois, a potentially messy scenario that has sparked internal strife in the party and prompted GOP leaders to launch a counter-campaign aimed at keeping Trump on the sidelines.
At the center of it all is freshman Rep. Mary Miller, a member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus who has been left without a seat after redistricting. Now she’s deciding whether to challenge fellow Illinois Republican Reps. Rodney Davis or Mike Bost. Hoping to boost Miller’s political prospects, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — another controversial firebrand who is close with Miller — has been talking her up to Trump and encouraging him to throw his weight behind Miller, according to multiple GOP sources.
A Trump endorsement would turbocharge the intraparty battle and potentially make things even stickier, something GOP leaders are eager to avoid. So House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has worked behind-the-scenes to head it off: he has urged Trump to stay out of the primary race, telling the former President that Bost and Davis — who are poised to become committee chairmen if Republicans reclaim the House after next year’s midterms — are both good members, sources said.