Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a key Trump ally, told the freshman from New Jersey that Trump would like to see him become a Republican, according to several sources familiar with the conversation.

But McCarthy also had a threat for Van Drew — Republicans “were going to beat you anyway,” he warned. Trump won Van Drew’s South Jersey district by nearly 5 points in 2016, and GOP leaders were already heavily targeting the seat next year…

Behind the scenes, former New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie spoke to Van Drew about switching parties, said GOP sources. Kellyanne Conway, a top White House adviser who hails from that district, also sought a meeting with the congressman on an unrelated issue, which Van Drew’s aides suspected was a pretense for her to lobby him to switch parties. The meeting never happened, but it was clear the White House was upping the pressure on Van Drew.