Trump is mad at Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of his biggest defenders in the House, after the Florida congressman voted to limit Trump’s war powers.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and staunch Trump ally, pushed other Republicans to vote in favor of limiting the president’s authority in the military confrontation with Iran, drawing ire from the president and other Republicans in Congress, according to aides and emails.
A senior White House official said it was “super uncool” and “quite unwise” for Gaetz to push for limits on the president’s authority. This person added that White House officials would not be returning Gaetz’s phone calls, text messages, “smoke signals or his kneelings in the snow.”
Whether Trump takes revenge on the congressman, who has made hundreds of television appearances backing the president and is a frequent visitor at the White House, remains unclear. Trump is often transactional, current and former aides say, and there is likely a path for Gaetz to return to the proverbial tent.
Matt Gaetz had a moment of clarity, and now the president is mad. The standards have fallen so low that this White House has people working in it that use phrases like super uncool to describe their feelings toward other Republicans.
There is no reason to believe that Gaetz is on the outs with Trump. The president and his circle behave more like junior high kids that serious political leaders. Gaetz will go on Fox and Friends and say something mean about Democrats, Trump will retweet it, and all will be well.
Gaetz’s vote and effort to mobilize other Republicans is a signal that Trump could be losing his grip on the Republican Party. Whether they want to admit it or not, Republicans might not be as afraid of Trump as they used to be.
If Trump continues to weaken, more Republicans could challenge this president.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association