Former President Donald Trump has endorsed a former campaign and White House aide to challenge a Republican congressman from Ohio who voted to impeach him last month — his first such endorsement in what’s likely to become an effort to purge anti-Trump Republicans.
“Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic congressman,” Trump, who will address the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Sunday, said in a statement via his Save America political action committee. “Current Representative Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th District because he does not represent their interest or their heart.”
Gonzalez, a second-term congressman and former Ohio State football player, is facing Republican criticism after saying Trump helped organize and incite the mob and “abandoned his post” while the Capitol was under attack on Jan. 6.
Miller, a Marine reservist who worked in the Office of Presidential Personnel and in various campaign positions, recently moved into Gonzalez’s district.
"I will never back down and will never betray my constituents," Miller, 32, said in a tweet highlighting Trump's endorsement.
Gonzelez is one of 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment who are likely to face intra-party opposition next year, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Trump's action comes as he appears intent on solidifying his position atop the GOP. He is said to be looking to help Republicans retake control of the House in 2022. And there has been intense speculation that he'll run to recapture the White House in 2024.
That would cap an unprecedented comeback for Trump, who lost to Joe Biden in the November election and continues to declare that fraud was at work.
Trump was impeached on Jan. 13 but acquitted one month later by the Senate on a charge that he incited insurrection by egging on those who besieged the Capitol at an earlier rally. Several GOP senators voted with Democrats to convict, though the tally fell far short of the number needed for a finding of guilt.
Other Newsmax wires contributed to this report.
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