Trump has his 'boot on the neck' of the GOP — and strategists are scared he'll derail it: Maggie Haberman
Donald Trump, Jr with Donald Trump and Eric Trump (Joseph Sohm /

On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman discussed recent reports that the Republican National Committee is still paying some of the legal expenses of former President Donald Trump — an arrangement that has some Republican officials upset.

"If you're Ron DeSantis, or Chris Christie, or any of these potential 2024 candidates, what do you think?" said anchor John Berman. "You're, like, hey, RNC, you are helping, politically, someone who we may be running against for the nomination."

"This has been the concern the whole time about the fact that a lot of the party apparatus has ties to the former president," said Haberman. "Again, not totally unusual when you have an outgoing president and the former president, former nominee of any party is the leader until there is another nominee, that you don't normally see something like this."

"I have always been very skeptical of the idea he was ever serious about forming his own party, no matter what he said at the time," continued Haberman. "You know, he let it go a few days later as he was leaving office he might form a third party, he doesn't have the organization or the ability to do that. But what he does have the ability to do is depress turnout among Republicans, and we saw that in the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, and that's what party officials are afraid of. So, essentially, he's got his boot on their neck, still, and they're not — and there are members of the party who like him, but at the end of the day, this is a highly unusual situation."

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Maggie Haberman says Trump has his "boot on the neck" of the GOP officials