Nearly three dozen former Trump officials held a conference call last Monday to discuss undermining their former boss’s influence in the 2022 and 2024 elections.
Among those who participated were former White House communications directors Alyssa Farah Griffin and Anthony Scaramucci, former White House chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, former Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Pence Olivia Troye, according to CNN, which first reported the news.
Griffin, now a CNN commentator, became a target of the president after she claimed that he knew he lost the 2020 election. On Monday she publicly encouraged Republicans to challenge Trump.
‘DeSantis should run,’ she wrote on Twitter Monday, quoting news that Trump had called the Florida governor ‘dull.’ ‘So should Pence, Pompeo, Haley, Cotton, Tim Scott, Sununu, Hogan, etc. Credible Republicans with governing experience should challenge Trump. There’s zero reason to nominate Trump again when R’s have a bench & Biden is polling in the 30s.’
Troye told DailyMail.com the call was a ‘preliminary discussion,’ and the group plans to convene again soon.
‘We are very concerned about the ongoing trends we are seeing by some of the more extremists following in Trump’s rhetoric and footsteps,’ she said. ‘It’s bigger than just Trump.’
Troye, who also served on the White House coronavirus task force and left the Trump administration in August 2020, made headlines the following month when she encouraged Republicans to vote for Biden due to Trump’s ‘flat out disregard for human life’ with the pandemic.
She claimed the Trump suggested maybe the pandemic was a ‘good thing’ because he would no longer have to shake hands with ‘disgusting people.’
Former Department of Homeland Security official Elizabeth Neumann, and former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs were also on the call. Miles Taylor, author of the famed ‘Anonymous’ New York Times op-ed and former DHS chief of staff, led the efforts.
Taylor told CNN that ideas for sabotaging Trump included ‘shining a light’ on his corporate contributors or targeting each of the candidates he endorses in state and local elections for defeat in the primary and general elections.
Kelly, who said he was only able to ‘monitor’ about 10 minutes of the hour-long call, is shying away from the idea of endorsing specific candidates.
One thing the group agreed on: their efforts are way behind those of the former president, who with a $115 million war chest has come out in full force with rallies, endorsements and campaigning.
Trump has bestowed his blessing upon almost 100 candidates who have agreed to go along with his claims of election fraud in the 2020 election.
Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has made the president’s election fraud claims front and center to her campaign, and it won her the president’s endorsement, an invite to Mar-a-Lago and the former president stumped for her in Florence, Arizona over the past weekend.
Asked by NPR if candidates must ‘press [his] case’ of election fraud in order to win an endorsement, Trump pointed to Lake. ‘She’s very big on this issue. She’s leading by a lot,’ Trump said.
One individual said there was unanimity on the call that ‘this cannot just be a professional trolling operation, putting out ads like the Lincoln group.’
The Lincoln Project was a band of so-called anti-Trump GOP strategists who fought for Democrats in the 2020 election with bill boards across the D.C. area and beyond. The group’s influence fizzled amid allegations of workplace abuse and infighting and a number of bizarre stunts, including placing five fake backers of then- Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glen Youngkin carrying tiki torches at a Charlottesville campaign stop.
Taylor concurred. ‘We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don’t mean anything,’ he told CNN. ‘The two operative words are ‘electoral effects.’ How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?’
The group has plans in the works to hold another call next week.
Former national security adviser John Bolton was not on the call, but his top aide Sarah Tinsley joined to share new polling from Bolton’s super PAC finding that Trump’s hold over the party was waning.
A November 2021 Marquette University poll finding that 60% of Republicans still want Trump to run again and 73% say they would vote for him if he were the nominee.
Trump has dropped a series of unsubtle hints that he intends to run for the presidency again, but has not come out with a formal announcement.
‘I believe 2024 will be even more important,’ the former president said at his first rally of 2022 in Florence, Arizona. ‘That is the year we are going to take back the House, we’re going to take back the Senate and we are going to take back America. And in 2024, we’re going to take back the White House.’
GB News’ Nigel Farage asked Trump during a sit down at Mar-a-Lago in December, ‘Why on earth would [you] consider going into that hell again?’
‘So I love our country,’ Trump said. ‘If you love the country you have no cho…