Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is set to meet with former President Trump at his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., this week as top GOP officials scramble to defuse tensions with the former president.
Trump has met with a handful congressional allies at his Mar-a-Lago estate since leaving the White House in January. But the meeting with Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), comes amid a spat between the former president and the GOP’s political wings over fundraising.
Trump has also stirred worries among some Republicans in recent weeks by threatening to back primary challenges to GOP incumbents who have crossed him.
Scott’s planned visit to Mar-a-Lago was first reported on Thursday by the Miami Herald, and was later confirmed to The Hill by a person familiar with the plans. In an interview with the Herald, Scott said that he hopes to use the meeting to reinforce the need for Trump to work with the NRSC as Republicans look to win back their Senate majority next year.
“I want to be an additive, I want us all to row the boats in the same direction,” Scott told the Herald. “My goal is to tell the [former] president what I’m doing. I’ve talked to him, and he tells me he wants to be helpful to me. He’s committed to Republicans taking back a majority in the U.S. Senate.”
Scott, a former Florida governor, was an early endorser of Trump’s presidential ambitions, throwing his support behind the real estate mogul’s campaign in 2015. As a senator, Scott has remained loyal to Trump. He was one of only eight senators to challenge the certification of the Electoral College results in January after a mob of the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Despite that alliance, Scott has found himself in a delicate position with Trump. As chairman of the NRSC, he has vowed to support GOP Senate incumbents, including those that Trump is hoping to oust in 2022, most notably Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who was among seven Republicans senators who voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment trial last month.
Trump has also found himself at odds with the GOP’s political committees, including the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the NRSC over fundraising. His lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to all three groups last week demanding that they stop using his name and image in fundraising appeals.
The former president escalated the feud on Monday when he issued a statement urging donors to direct contributions to his leadership PAC Save America rather than to the GOP’s political committees. He later reversed course, saying in a second statement that he support the Republican Party and its affiliated groups, but would work to withhold money from so-called RINOs, or Republicans in name only.
“I fully support the Republican Party and important GOP Committees, but I do not support RINOs and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds,” Trump said.
Via The Hill