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RNC planning to invite Trump to donor retreat

Cheney faces backlash over impeachment vote
Cheney faces backlash over impeachment vote 09:26

The Republican National Committee is planning to invite former President Trump to their spring donor meeting in April, two sources confirmed to CBS News. The news comes as the RNC tries to figure out its post-Trump future and amid his polarizing impeachment and the loss of two high-profile Senate seats in Georgia, throwing the Senate majority to the Democrats. 

Despite the turmoil within the party, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, an ally of Mr. Trump's, was unanimously reelected earlier this month.   

Mr. Trump has not yet made a public appearance since he left office on January 20. McDaniel told The Washington Post on Thursday that Mr. Trump's role post-presidency "is going to be up to him in a lot of ways." 

Mr. Trump has publicly indicated he is considering running for president again in 2024. McDaniel assured The Associated Press on Thursday that the national party would remain neutral in a 2024 primary, even if it included Mr. Trump.

"The party has to stay neutral. I'm not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024," McDaniel told The Associated Press when asked whether she wanted to see Trump run again in the next presidential election. "That's going to be up to those candidates going forward. What I really do want to see him do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022."  

McDaniel made few references to Mr. Trump in her speech after being reelected to lead the RNC two days after a mob of Mr. Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, sending lawmakers fleeing and delaying the count of the Electoral College votes.   

Earlier on January 6, Mr. Trump had urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College votes, leading to an assault on the Capitol that left five people dead in the melee. A number of Republican lawmakers went ahead with objections to the electoral vote despite the assault, most notably Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri. 

One week later, he was impeached by the House on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" at the U.S. Capitol. Ten House Republicans, including Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House, joined with the Democrats to vote to impeach Mr. Trump. 

Since casting the vote for impeachment, Mr. Trump's allies have targeted Cheney, although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has urged the GOP to move on. Other House Republicans have faced backlash for the vote too. 

Congressman Matt Gaetz, an ally of Mr. Trump's, traveled to Cheney's district on Thursday, calling her "disappointing" and "exactly like Congress —  deeply unpopular and owned by special interests."

Mr. Trump's impeachment trial is set to begin the week of February 8 in the Senate. Democrats would need 17 Republicans to join them to convict, but only a simple majority vote is needed to bar him from office moving forward. 

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has had some harsh words for Mr. Trump since he left office, 45 Republicans — including McConnell — voted earlier this week to block the impeachment trial. 

Aaron Navarro contributed to this report.

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