Ex-White House aide explains how Trump could be 'just as dangerous' as when he was in office — without ever running again
Former President Donald Trump is out of the White House but there are still concerns about his hold on the Republican Party. Trump may not be on any ballots for the upcoming 2022 primary but one former White House aide has emphasized that does not mean Trump is no longer a dominant influence behind the scenes.
Speaking with NPR, Stephanie Grisham, who worked in multiple White House positions under the Trump administration, noted the former president is "trying to primary people who dared vote to impeach him," Grisham said.
She also laid out a hypothetical scenario detailing how the 2022 primary could reshape the Republican Party. Even if Trump decides not to run for president in 2024, Grisham explained how he could still be a dominant force. The former White House aide noted that if Trump loyalists manage to win key positions overseeing critical election aspects in certain states, that could be just as dangerous as him being in office.
"I think that 2022 is vital because, let's just say he doesn't run in 2024," Grisham said, adding, "Let's just say if he stacks Congress with all these Republicans who will just do his bidding. Then, that's to me just as dangerous because they're going to listen to him."
Grisham argued the congressional candidates Trump elevates will be the ones willing to do his bidding above all else. According to Grisham, Trump's "revenge tour" is deeply concerning and "very scary."
"These are all people who are — it's not even that they have maybe any experience or knowledge on policy or have a right to be in Congress," she said. "It's just that they're loyal to Donald Trump, and it's just so backwards to me; 2024 I'm very scared about because as we're all watching right now, he's already on a revenge tour again with people in Congress."
She added, "He's putting out statements about how the election was stolen. I don't know that people are thinking that in 2024, he won't need to run for reelection again, so all guardrails will be down and he will do what he wants because he won't have to worry. It will be his last term."
If Trump manages to move his agenda forward, Grisham thinks "he will use that for revenge and retribution and probably really draconian policies that will affect our country for a very, very long time."
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