Trump looks to squash Justin Amash

Source: Politico | June 12, 2019 | Alex Isenstadt

The president has discussed with aides backing a primary challenge against the lone Republican impeachment supporter.

Donald Trump and his top allies are moving to make Justin Amash pay for becoming the sole Republican congressman to call for the president’s impeachment.

Trump and his top advisers have discussed the prospect of backing a primary challenge to the Michigan lawmaker — a highly unusual move for a president against a member of his own party that would effectively amount to a warning shot to other Republicans thinking of crossing him. The conversations come as the billionaire DeVos family, which has deep ties to the administration and remains one of Michigan’s most powerful families, has announced it will cut off the congressman. That move could send a signal to other conservative donors deciding whether to invest in Amash.

Trump has raised the primary challenge idea with Vice President Mike Pence and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a close Trump ally who co-founded the conservative House Freedom Caucus with Amash. Trump has also addressed the subject with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a former Michigan GOP leader who remains influential in the state.

Those who’ve spoken with the president say he’s made no firm decision about taking on Amash, who’s accused the president of engaging in “impeachable conduct” and left the door open to a third-party campaign for president. Trump, they point out, is mostly focused on his own reelection and often cools down after he has time to process a slight. There are also potential risks: Trying to unseat Amash could elevate him or turn him into a martyr.

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