OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A group of former Trump officials recently met in secret to discuss a plot to prevent Donald Trump from being reelected in 2024, though according to a report, the group concluded it may be difficult, at best, to pull off.
Two names in particular — former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci — will stand out given their heavy presence in the media over the years.
According to CNN, those participating on the call include:
- Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
- Former Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin
- Former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
- Former Department of Homeland Security official Elizabeth Neumann
- Former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs
- Former National Security Advisor John Bolton (via top aide Sarah Tinsley)
- Former Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Pence Olivia Troye
- Former DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor
Taylor, who wrote an op-ed and book called “Anonymous,” both of which were highly critical of Trump and his administration, was said to have led the call.
In all, the network reported, around three dozen former Trump administration staffers took part in the call, which apparently took place on Monday.
The network adds:
The only items the group seemed to agree upon in its first meeting, however, were that they’re not sure what their way forward should be, and that they are way behind the efforts of former President Donald Trump and his allies to set the stage for 2022, 2024, and beyond.
The highest-ranking participant was former White House chief of staff and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who told CNN that because of a prior commitment he was only able to “monitor” about 10 minutes of the call, which lasted about an hour.
Stephanie Grisham, who first publicly discussed this group a couple of weeks ago on CNN’s “New Day,” was not on the call because she was sick with Covid-19, though she told CNN she is engaged with the group.
Taylor, who calls himself a Republican and who has become a staple on left-wing outlets like CNN and MSNBC, told the network: “We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don’t mean anything. The two operative words are ‘electoral effects.’ How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?”
Another participant in the call noted: “We’re still trying to figure out what it is that we want to do [but] this cannot just be a professional trolling operation, putting out ads like the Lincoln group.”
The report said that the group is planning on holding a second meeting next week, adding that the network will be in on the call.
CNN reported as well that Tinsley claimed her boss’ super PAC has recently polling data suggesting that Trump’s grip on the GOP is weakening, but even the network seemed to cast aspersions regarding that claim:
The data seems to contradict public polling such as a November 2021 Marquette University Law School poll in which 60% of Republicans say they would like Trump to run for president in 2024, and 73% say they see him favorably.
For his part, Trump has not said whether he will run again in 2024, though he has dropped several hints, as have those closest to him.
In August, his first press secretary, Sean Spicer, now with Newsmax TV, said definitively, “He’s in.”
USA Features News reported:
In June, he met with Republican Study Committee chair Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and members of the caucus’s leadership to discuss strategy and other relevant topics with an eye toward Democrat’s thin majority in the House, along with an evenly-divided Senate.
“We talked for most of the time about the work that the Republican Study Committee is doing to define the agenda for the future course of the Republican Party, which is fighting for the Trump agenda,” Banks said.
“We talked about our election integrity bill, The Save Democracy Act, which he was very supportive of and we talked about what we’ve done to define immigration moving forward,” Banks added.
In September, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the Des Moines Register he had recently spoken to Trump and said he believes Trump will run again.