The meeting, first reported by Real Clear Politics, was hosted by Restart GOP, an organization founded last month by a handful of anonymous Republican operatives still working for party committees. The attendees included conservative columnist George Will, intellectuals Yuval Levin and Pete Wehner, former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff.

The discussion that ensued offered a preview of the existential questions that are already wracking the Republican party, and of how quickly any post-election intra-party conflict could turn personal.

Restart GOP brands itself not as #NeverTrump but as #AlwaysLincoln. A person familiar with the group’s plans describes it as “an anonymous group of GOP staffers, writers, and operatives” who are “dedicated to post-November party reform rather than stopping Trump.”…

On the campaign trail, McMullin, a former Capitol Hill staffer, has argued that the GOP is irretrievably racist. “I spent a lot of time in the Republican party believing that that was something Democrats and liberals would say,” he told the Washington Examiner’s Byron York on October 12. “But I have to say in the time that I spent in the House of Representatives and leadership and in senior roles there, I realized that no, they’re actually right. And Donald Trump made it ever more clear that there is a serious problem of racism in the Republican party.”