Rick Scott was the only member of Senate Republican leadership to vote in favor of overturning 2020 election results to favor former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, and now the Florida Republican will be the first member of Senate GOP leadership to meet face-to-face with the former president at his Palm Beach club.
Scott occupies an interesting position in the post-Trump GOP.
He was an early, enthusiastic and consistent Trump backer since 2015 who now leads the establishment-friendly and Mitch McConnell-aligned National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2022 election cycle. Trump has openly mocked McConnell since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that led to five deaths and urged supporters to donate to his political action committee instead of GOP-aligned groups like the NRSC.
In an interview, Scott said he’ll tell Trump that their interests are aligned when he visits this week.
“I want to be an additive, I want us all to row the boats in the same direction,” Scott said to the Miami Herald. “My goal is to tell the [former] president what I’m doing. I’ve talked to him, and he tells me he wants to be helpful to me. He’s committed to Republicans taking back a majority in the U.S. Senate.”
But Trump’s own messaging undercuts Scott’s position that requires him to defend incumbent GOP senators. In a tweet-style statement, Trump vowed to travel to Alaska to defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial but the only one who is on the ballot in 2022.
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