Politics

Trump adviser says former president not currently considering launching third party

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at Joint Base Andrews before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President on January 20, 2021 in Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Trump, the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor's inauguration, is expected to spend the final minutes of his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Photo by Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump remains committed to reelecting Republicans and is not currently considering launching a third party, a senior Trump adviser said Sunday while noting that things could change.

Jason Miller, who had served as a senior campaign adviser to Trump, said that the former President “has made clear his goal is to win back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. There’s nothing that’s actively being planned regarding an effort outside of that.”

But, Miller maintained, “it’s completely up to Republican senators if this is something that becomes more serious” — a reference to Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Multiple Trump advisers confirmed to CNN last week that he was contemplating launching a third party, but those advisers dismissed the idea as not serious. A separate adviser noted to CNN Sunday evening that Trump has talked about creating a third party for decades.

The path in the Senate to convict Trump is extremely slim.

A growing number of Republicans are expressing confidence that the party will acquit the former President on a charge that he incited the deadly insurrection aimed at stopping President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

After Democratic leaders announced they would kick off the process to begin the impeachment trial, Republicans grew sharply critical about the proceedings — and made clear that they saw virtually no chance that at least 17 Republicans would join with 50 Democrats to convict Trump and also bar him from ever running for office again.

In interviews with more than a dozen GOP senators, the consensus was clear: Most Republicans are likely to acquit Trump, and only a handful are truly at risk of flipping to convict the former President — unless more evidence emerges or the political dynamics within their party dramatically change.

And the GOP arguments are now coming into sharper focus, claiming the proceedings are unconstitutional to try a former President and contending that the trial is moving on too short of a time frame to give due process to Trump, claims that Democrats resoundingly reject. But those arguments, Republicans believe, will allow them a way out of convicting Trump without endorsing his conduct in the run up to the deadly mob that ransacked the Capitol on January 6.

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