Trump endorses primary opponent to Peter Meijer, MI Republican who voted for impeachment

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Former President Donald Trump endorsed a primary opponent against Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan on Monday in his latest attempt to unseat GOP legislators who voted to impeach him earlier this year.

“John Gibbs is running against RINO Congressman Peter Meijer in Michigan’s 3rd District. Meyer has been a terrible representative of the Republican Party and beyond,” Trump said in a statement that misspells Meijer’s last name at one point. “John Gibbs is a fabulous talent who loves the State, our Military, and our Vets.”

The former President has made it clear that he intends to help define the party’s future, specifically targeting Republicans who voted to impeach him. Some of those Republicans, such as Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have indicated that they would not seek reelection next year, while others, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, are facing Trump-backed primary challengers.

Not all vets are alike

After the former President’s response to the US Capitol insurgency, Meijer, who was first elected to Congress last September, told CNN in January that he considered his vote to impeach Trump as a step toward “accountability.” “I was hoping to see the President rapidly try to de-escalate, try to denounce, try to stop the violence from occurring, and he abandoned his post,” Meijer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the time.

“To me, that was disqualifying. My heart broke in that time, seeing folks ransacking the Capitol. And since then, the President has not accepted responsibility. I hold the seat that was held by Gerald Ford for 25 years before he was elevated to the White House. He pardoned Richard Nixon, but that was after Richard Nixon resigned and was held accountable for his actions. And here, there must be accountability.”

Peter Meijer’s US Representatives website states:

“After graduating high school, Peter’s first step on his path of purpose was spending a year at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Soon thereafter, Peter enlisted in the Army reserves and deployed to Iraq. In 2010, Peter deployed to Iraq as a non-commissioned officer, setting aside his studies to serve with an intelligence unit at joint US-Iraqi bases in the Baghdad area. In Iraq, Peter conducted intelligence operations to protect American and allied forces. As a sergeant, he led soldiers and missions that resulted in the detention of enemy operatives responsible for killing American soldiers and disrupted Iranian-backed efforts to take more American lives.”

Trump stumps for America’s liberty

While Trump is likely to sustain his busy campaign schedule in order to support Republicans in next year’s midterm elections, several of his aides and allies caution that there may be areas of the country where he is now encouraged to keep his distance.

According to one source, Trump’s “stay away strategy” would entail him avoiding states or districts where a combination of circumstances, such as his popularity and demographic makeup, may mean his presence would ruin Republican hopes.