Former President Donald Trump has taken his first swipe at one of the Republican dissidents who voted to impeach him.
Trump issued a warm endorsement Friday for Max Miller, 32, a former White House aide and campaign official who plans to primary two-term GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio. Gonzalez was one of 10 GOP representatives who joined the Democrats’ second impeachment effort in January.
“Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart,” Trump wrote in an email blast to followers.
The statement made good on Trump’s Feb. 16 threat to target congressional Republicans who have crossed him — an effort that could solidify his hold on the party, even after he lost the presidency.
“We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership,” Trump wrote in that scathing attack on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP contrarians.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) attends a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Dec. 2, 2020.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
The Miller endorsement came in the run-up to Trump’s Sunday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., where he is expected to affirm his dominance over the Republican faithful