Multiple outlets have reported on Thursday and Friday that Lara Trump and Mark Meadows are both weighing runs for one of North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seats in 2022, according to people familiar with their plans. This comes after Sen. Richard Burr (R) recently announced that he would not seek re-election, closing the book on what has been a 15-year career in the Senate.
A source familiar with the plans of President Donald Trump‘s daughter-in-law, who has reportedly discussed them directly with her, told Fox News on Friday that Lara Trump is “interested and exploring” a possible run. Trump is married to the president’s third child, Eric, and hails from the state, after whom she named one of her children Carolina.
The source told Fox News that Trump should “automatically be considered formidable,” saying that she has deep roots in North Carolina and was a frequent presence for President Trump’s campaigns there in 2016 and in 2020.
“The president gave her the responsibility of winning North Carolina in 2016 and in 2020 — she did it both times,” the source said, adding that she’s a “household name” and that she’s “well-known among the Republican Party.”
“Were she to run, she should be considered an immediate front runner,” the source also said.
Mercedes Schlapp, an adviser to President Trump’s 2020 campaign who crisscrossed the country as a surrogate alongside Ms. Trump, told the New York Times, who was the first to report the news on Thursday, that Trump has a lot of potential. Schlapp also said that Ms. Trump was a “household name,” but it is not clear if she is the same source who spoke to Fox News the day after.
“She’s very charismatic, she understands retail politics well, and has a natural instinct for politics,” she said. “In North Carolina, in particular, she’s a household name and people know her. She worked really hard on the campaign and was very involved in a lot of decisions throughout.”
Kellyanne Conway, a former White House official and the Trump campaign manager in 2016, shared a similar sentiment with The Times about Ms. Trump’s potential to make headway in a potential senatorial campaign.
“She would be formidable,” she said. “She has the trifecta: She can raise money, raise awareness of key issues and raise attention to her race. Unlike many typical politicians, she connects with people and is a compelling messenger.”
Before entering politics, she was a television producer for “Inside Edition“ and also worked as a professional chef and a personal trainer.
Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, is reportedly considering the Senate seat too, multiple outlets say. Before joining the Trump administration earlier this year, Meadows was a member of the House of Representative from North Carolina since 2013.
Speculation about a potential candidacy from him garnered significantly less attention than that surrounding Ms. Trump. In most articles from major outlets, he was often only mentioned in a single paragraph or sentence whereas Trump has had entire articles dedicated to her and a possible campaign.
A GOP insider who is involved with Senate races told Fox News in the same Friday article that Meadows is pondering a run for the soon-to-be-vacant seat. Neither Meadows nor his staff have spoken publicly about the current speculation surrounding his political future.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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FBI punishing employees who attended Jan 6 rally by revoking security clearances
The official Twitter account of the GOP House Judiciary Committee released an alarming warning: “Whistleblowers alert that the FBI appears to be attempting to terminate the employment of employees who were engaged in protected First Amendment activity on January 6, 2021.”
#NEWS: Whistleblowers alert that the FBI appears to be attempting to terminate the employment of employees who were engaged in protected First Amendment activity on January 6, 2021.
The employees did not enter the United States Capitol and have not been charged with any crime. pic.twitter.com/0WCIOsg620
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 6, 2022
A letter from ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), to FBI Director Christopher Wray, addresses how several whistleblowers exposed the FBI of stripping employees of security clearances.
The letter cites claims of multiple whistleblowers who say the FBI has been purposely punishing those who attended then-president Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, by revoking their clearances. Reportedly many of them did not even enter the U.S. Capitol.
“While FBI employees may not participate in partisan political campaigns, [they] do not give up their rights to engage in political speech activity,” wrote Jordan. “We have serious concerns that the FBI appears to be retaliating against employees for engaging in political speech disfavored by FBI leadership,” he added.
The primary whistleblower is described as a 20-year veteran of the FBI and U.S. military. Jordan believes the FBI’s actions could potentially result in the administrative extermination of the individuals’ employment because the FBI requires top-secret security clearances for majority of its employees.
Jordan has required that the FBI brief the committee on the security clearances matter by May 20.
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