Trouble in MAGA world: Crucial Trump ally loses 'key asset'
Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the 2021 Southwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Charlie Kirk, the longtime director of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA, is facing a schism as his years-long relationship with "Students for Trump" is falling apart, reported The Washington Post on Wednesday.

When former President Donald Trump was in power, the two groups worked hand in hand, with Students for Trump leasing its web domains to TPUSA, and the two groups amplifying each other's messages to boost the fundraising and organizing for each. But that partnership is crumbling over disagreements about how to run their operation.

"The separation follows a failed effort by Kirk’s main deputy, Tyler Bowyer, to assert greater control over the Students for Trump accounts, said knowledgeable people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private dealings," said the report. "The changes Bowyer floated would have included removing the Trump name and renaming the accounts as official Turning Point properties. He discussed leveraging the rebranded accounts as part of a new initiative using social media influencers to fundraise for political candidates, according to people who heard Bowyer’s pitch. But not all the money would go to the candidates, as influencers would get a cut of any fundraising they perform."

Ryan Fournier, the chairman of Students for Trump, reportedly rejected all of these ideas, and while TPUSA's spokesman maintains that they are “still allies of the Students for Trump project and support it wholeheartedly,” sources say Students for Trump are now retaking control of their assets TPUSA had been using.

READ MORE: 'Weird dystopian' Sarah Sanders speech baffles Morning Joe panelists

This comes as leaders of these groups appear to be moving in different directions, with donors to TPUSA increasingly preferring Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as a possible challenger to Trump. DeSantis has not yet declared a run for president, but he is widely known to be interested in running, and several GOP donors have lined up behind him. Trump has responded by going after the governor he once endorsed, calling him a "RINO globalist" and even sharing posts on Truth Social implying he is a child predator.

TPUSA has frequently come under controversy. Its local chapter leaders have sometimes been involved in racial incidents, including one at the University of Missouri who caused outrage last year by posting slurs on Snapchat. Kirk himself drew national attention after blaming the recent FAA shutdown on "white guilt."