Trump 'pulling strings behind the scenes' to set up GOP primary matchups he wants
Donald Trump hosts a rally in Indiana/Screenshot

Donald Trump is working behind the scenes to get the Republican primary matchups he wants in races around the country.

The twice-impeached one-term president is publicly trying to purge GOP incumbents he sees as disloyal while making back-channel communications to remove possible threats to his endorsed candidates and set up challengers to run against his enemies, reported CNN.

"Ex-presidents usually leave the limelight after leaving office, refraining from inserting themselves in their party primaries," the network reported. "But a person close to Trump likened the former President to the mob patriarch Vito Corleone in the 'The Godfather' movie for his efforts to retaliate against Republicans who criticized him for inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol or for voting to pass Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. Trump has been 'pulling strings behind the scenes and guiding candidates in the right direction,' this person said."

Trump asked Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) to persuade former Rep. Mark Walker to back out of a GOP Senate campaign and instead for a House seat, which could help the ex-president's preferred candidate, Rep. Ted Budd, in the North Carolina Republican primary.

READ: Trump is a snake — and he's poisoning the Republican Party: CNN's Jim Acosta

He's also urged former Sen. David Perdue to challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who refused to help Trump overturn his election loss in the state, and he's intrigued by the possibility of Alabama Senate GOP candidate Lynda Blanchard challenging Gov. Kay Ivey, whom he blames for a decision by the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Commission to stop him from holding a campaign rally aboard the retired World War II battleship.