April 19, 2021

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In the months since former President Donald Trump departed the White House, something of a “cold war” has erupted in his orbit among “competing factions that are seeking to capitalize on their time with” him, a new Politico report describes.

The report details how, as one former senior administration official put it, people in Trump’s orbit who “didn’t like each other four months ago” now “all have a common interest: how to get some coin out of the Trump post-presidency.” In fact, Trump himself has reportedly been warned by his allies that he’s currently surrounded by people who are all “singularly focused on enriching themselves,” Politico writes.

“They’re competing for his money,” a former senior administration official told Politico. “I’ve told the president, ‘You need to be cognizant of this.'”

For example, there was reportedly a bit of a “whodunit” among officials when someone appeared to possibly abuse a confidential donor list, to the point that there had to be a warning sent out that anyone who misuses campaign resources could face prosecution. Former aides and advisers have also accused one another of “overstating” their access to the former president in an attempt to land clients, suggesting to campaigns that hiring them might help get them a Trump endorsement, and they’re also all “squabbling” for access to Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Politico says.

Trump spokesperson Jason Miller disputed this characterization of an environment Politico compared to Lord of the Flies, arguing that actually, there’s currently “the least amount of ally competition or conflict at this point than I’ve ever seen,” since the former president’s orbit now consists only of “true believers.” Read more at Politico. Brendan Morrow

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