Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is in the balance with ballots still being counted in several states. While Republicans appear to be inching toward a majority, they have not yet secured enough wins to take control as more than two dozen congressional races remain uncalled.
The closer-than-expected contest for the House has caused a serious rift between nervous Republicans and former Presiden Donald Trump, who is being blamed for the GOP’s lackluster performance on Tuesday’s midterms.
Now, The New York Times is reporting that an angry Donald Trump made a late-night call weeks before the election and threatened Republican National Committee head Ronna McDaniel because GOP gubernatorial candidate for Nevada, Joe Lombardo, whom he endorsed, refused to call him a “great president” during a debate earlier that evening.
According to The Times, Trump threatened to pull his endorsement if Lombardo didn’t praise him.
“Someone had sent the former president clips of that evening’s debate in the Nevada governor’s race. The Trump-endorsed Republican nominee, Joe Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County, had declined to call Mr. Trump a ‘great’ president and had backed off Mr. Trump’s stolen-election lie,” New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher writes. “Mr. Trump fumed about withdrawing his endorsement, threatening to throw into chaos one of the nation’s most consequential swing states, a place with three competitive House races and a tossup Senate seat. Ms. McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, pleaded with the former president. She asked him for one hour to fix the situation.”
Goldmacher added: “Mr. Lombardo soon issued a statement calling Mr. Trump a ‘great president.” The crisis was averted. The next week, when Mr. Trump held a Nevada rally, Mr. Lombardo joined the chorus singing his praises onstage.”
At that rally, Lombardo went even further, calling Trump, “The greatest president, right?”
read the full report in The New York Times.