Trump rallies Republicans to unseat those who defied him on infrastructure, impeachment

Former President Donald Trump has been rolling out a steady stream of endorsements targeting fellow Republicans who joined Democrats in voting for his impeachment, the creation of the Jan. 6 commission or the just-signed infrastructure bill.

In West Virginia, Trump on Monday endorsed Rep. Alex Mooney, who he said "recently opposed the horrendous Biden Administration’s 'Non-Infrastructure' plan, and he opposed the January 6th Committee, also known as the Unselect Committee of partisan hacks and degenerates."

Thanks to redistricting, Mooney is taking on fellow Republican Rep. David McKinley, who voted for the infrastructure bill and the Jan. 6 select committee. McKinley defended his infrastructure vote — which Trump had urged Republicans to oppose — in an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail over the weekend.

"For my West Virginia constituents, this bill will bring significant investment in hard infrastructure: roads, bridges, sewer and water lines, broadband into every county, flood relief, and upgrades to our aging electric grid. The bill also provides funds to continue research into capturing carbon from coal- and gas-fired power plants," McKinley wrote.

Mooney celebrated the endorsement on social media, and told West Virginia MetroNews that he'd met with Trump for an hour at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend.

"It is a big deal," Mooney said of the endorsement of the former president who remains very popular in his district. "I think you'll see it in just about every (campaign) ad," he added.

Trump on Monday also endorsed John Gibbs, a former official at the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development during his administration who's running against Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich. Meijer was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump earlier this year for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In a statement, Trump said "Meyer" — which is how the congressman's name is pronounced — has been "a terrible representative of the Republican Party and beyond."

Trump nominated Gibbs in 2020 to be director of the Office of Personnel Management, but he was not confirmed following CNN's reporting about inflammatory tweets he sent about Democrats in 2016. Those tweets included suggestions that Hillary Clinton's campaign manager took part in satanic rituals.

Gibbs was asked about the tweets during a hearing, and said, "Like all Americans, I have political opinions that I've expressed in the past. But I'm very proud to say that during my service in the government, I've always led in a nonpartisan manner."

In his endorsement, Trump said Gibbs "will fight hard for the great people of Michigan."

Trump had previously targeted Republicans who voted for his impeachment, including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., but has broadened his scope in recent days.

Over the weekend, Trump said he was looking for primary challengers to endorse in races against several other Republicans he referred to as "sellouts" and "known losers" who either voted for impeachment, the Jan. 6 committee or the infrastructure bill.

"Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns," Trump asked in a statement before listing the targeted lawmakers. He promised the potential challengers that "You will have my backing!"

The list omitted three Republicans who Trump had blasted for backing the infrastructure bill, Reps. Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

Malliotakis repeatedly defended the vote as good for her constituents on social media.

"I cast my vote FOR the bipartisan infrastructure bill and AGAINST advancing the socialist spending spree," she said in one tweet.

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