Trump secretly hates far-right Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate he endorsed: report
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, pictured at a rally on May 14, 2022, is considered to extreme for some in the party. (Michael M. Santiago/AFP)

On Wednesday, POLITICO revealed that former President Donald Trump never particularly liked Doug Mastriano, the far-right candidate who just secured the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania — even though Trump gave Mastriano his endorsement.

In particular, according to the report, even though Mastriano was a leading figure in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania, Trump believed that he had given up on the effort.

"Donald Trump and some of his top lieutenants spent the last year privately disparaging Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano," reported Meredith McGraw and Holly Otterbein. "Mastriano’s loyalty alone wasn’t enough to earn his support. Trump wanted more concrete action. Trump was skeptical of Mastriano, according to a source familiar with his thinking, because he had 'done nothing on the audit promises in a year,' a reference to an investigation of the 2020 election that he pushed in the state."

"But on the Friday before Pennsylvania’s primary, with Mastriano ahead in the polls and ensconced as the clear favorite in the primary for governor, Trump changed his mind," the report continued. "He called up the state lawmaker and delivered the news he would endorse him, according to a person familiar with the conversation. A day later, Trump issued a statement announcing the nod."

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According to the report, Pennsylvania GOP officials are enraged by Trump's last-minute actions — and some even believe it could injure his prospects of ever winning Pennsylvania again should he attempt another run for the presidency.

Mastriano has quickly become a controversial figure. He has given speeches at QAnon events, and has ties to a bizarre "gun church" that believes the AR-15 is literally ordained by the Bible. He was also present at the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection and paid to bus people there that day, although he denies he breached the Capitol himself.