Trump-backed candidates face scrutiny after minimal vetting

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One has been charged with assaulting another White House aide. Another allegedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerating claims of financial success and intimidating business associates with his erratic behavior. A third has asked a judge to keep previous protection-of-abuse orders sealed.

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As former President Donald Trump descends into the country-wide election primaries, he is seeking revenge and remaking the Republican Party in his own image. In doing so, he has supported a range of candidates involved in allegations of wrongdoing, particularly in relation to the treatment of women.

This is contributing to anxiety among some Republicans, who worry that Trump is lending his powerful political support only to those who flatter his ego. Such candidates may be able to win the GOP primaries in which the party’s pro-Trump base dominates, only to struggle in the general election.

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And with Congress in control of some seats, such missteps can be costly.

GOP donor and Trump supporter Dan Eberhart said “there is no review process — at least not on policy and the election.” He said the concerns have spread to many corners of the party. “The approval process comes down to how much a candidate supports the former president and is willing to let the Trump machine run his campaign and fundraise. … Whether they are the most viable candidate in a given race is secondary.”

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The former president has no reason to be blinded by the allegations against some of the candidates he has supported. Few details appeared similar to those required by many employers in the original background check. Others are said to have been shared personally with Trump or circulated within GOP circles before he endorsed his own.

In her new book, “I Will Take Your Question Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House,” Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary and First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, accused her ex-boyfriend of abusive behavior . Their relationship deteriorated. The former boyfriend, Max Miller, was a White House aide and is now running for Congress in Ohio with Trump’s enthusiastic blessing.

Miller strongly denied the allegations and filed a defamation suit on Wednesday accusing Grisham of defaming his name.

Grisham says Miller told the former president and first lady about the abuse before announcing his candidacy, but wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that he “didn’t care.” Trump endorsed Miller as an act of revenge against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him over the January 6 uprising.

“A White House employee accused of assault by a woman the president knew and trusted? It didn’t even appear to be registered on the president’s radar screen as a concern. On the contrary, it did not appear to be a concern.” What does he know, Trump endorses my former bid for Congress,” she wrote.

Trump has a long history of siding with powerful men accused of hurting women, from his Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh to former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. He defended a former White House aide who resigned after allegations that he was physically and emotionally abusive to two former wives became public. And in 2017, he endorsed GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore despite allegations that Moore sexually assaulted teenage girls decades earlier when he was in his 30s.

Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women, but he, like other men he has defended, has always vehemently denied the allegations.

Still, former presidents and their allies sometimes draw the line.

Last week, Trump broke up with his former campaign manager and longtime adviser, Corey Lewandowski, after a donor allegedly repeated unwanted sexual advances by Lewandowski in the form of a fundraising event. During the 2016 campaign, Trump defended Lewandowski after he was accused of handcuffing a reporter and facing a battery charge, which was dropped. Lewandowski denied wrongdoing in both cases.

But the accusations of frequent wrongdoing haven’t deterred the former president from lending his support.

Trump threw his support for an open Senate seat in Georgia last month behind longtime friend of football great Herschel Walker, in a race the former president urged Walker to enter. The support came more than a month after an Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of public records linked to Walker’s business ventures and their divorce exposed allegations that Walker repeatedly attempted to kill his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. Threatened and exaggerated his commercial success. other things.

Walker’s campaign has generally refrained from commenting on specifics, but has cited the ex-NFL star’s mental health issues, which he has discussed at length, including in a book.

And in Pennsylvania, Trump’s chosen candidate for an open Senate seat, Sean Parnell, has faced questions from rival Jeff Bartos, who during divorce proceedings in 2017 and 2018 sought a stay on orders sought by his wife. have taken. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday that he had asked a judge to “prohibit his wife and her attorney from speaking publicly about previous protection-of-abuse orders against him.”

Parnell noted that the orders are not evidence of wrongdoing. But Bartos tried to make the issue a liability, warning that it could hurt Parnell in the general election, potentially costing Republicans the seat.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budovich…

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Donald Trump

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