According to a report from NBC News, Donald Trump -- with an eye on running for president again in 2024 -- is tearing the Michigan Republican Party apart and reshaping it into a pro-Trump party that he hopes will help him reclaim the state he won in 2016 and lost to Joe Biden in 2020.
The former president has been endorsing a wide range of candidates, all of whom endorse his claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him, to take over a state GOP whose leaders have disputed his claims -- and that is setting off a civil war within the state party.
According to NBC's Allan Smith and Henry J. Gomez, "Trump has backed seven candidates for state House or Senate seats in Michigan, an electoral battleground that he lost narrowly to Joe Biden last year — more than anywhere else," adding, "All of the candidates have one thing in common: They've made election administration and investigating last year's vote central to their platforms."
Pointing out Trump's laser-like focus in the state that could be pivotal in 2024, the report adds, "Trump's focus on the state illuminates just how driven he is to exact revenge on those who haven't supported his baseless claim that the last election was stolen from him. It's also a play to install allies who could be helpful should he run for president again in 2024 and find himself locked in another close race, with the report continuing that GOP leaders in Michigan refused to accede to Trump's demands for a ballot review like the one Republicans authorized in Arizona, which found no proof of fraud."
Adding that Trump "has met with heavy resistance from some Republicans in Michigan," the report notes that Jeff Timmer, a former Michigan GOP chair who lost faith in the party under Trump and voted for Biden in 2020, claimed Michigan has become a top target for the ex-president.
"What started off as talking points about the election being rigged has become the sole gospel in his mind," Timmer explained. "He actually believes the election was stolen from him in Detroit and that he actually did win Michigan. That might be propelling a lot of this attention."
Noting that Biden's win in the state has been reaffirmed in the courts multiple times -- NBC reports that a report contradicting the former president's claims has been "supported by every Republican on the state Senate Oversight Committee, was the product of an eight-month inquiry, and it concluded that there was no basis or evidence to support the Trump campaign's repeated claims that the election results failed to reflect the will of the voters."
Lavora Barnes, the chair of the state Democratic Party, stated Trump is just creating more problems for the GOP by harping on 2020.
"Michigan voters," she explained, "will not be fooled by his support of fringe candidates that are attempting to keep the 'Big Lie' alive."
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