Trump is mobilizing Republicans to remove those who insult him about infrastructure, to accuse him

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Trump is mobilizing Republicans to remove those who insult him about infrastructure, to accuse him

Thanks to redistricting, Mooney is taking on fellow Republican Rep. David McKinley, who voted for the infrastructure bill and the House Jan. 6 committee. McKinley defended his vote on the infrastructure bill — which Trump had urged Republicans to oppose — in an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail over the weekend.

Mooney celebrated Trump’s endorsement on social media and told West Virginia MetroNews that he had met with Trump for an hour at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend.

Trump on Monday also endorsed John Gibbs, an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during his administration, who is running against Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich. Meijer was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump this year on a charge that he incited the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“It is a big deal,” Mooney said of the endorsement from Trump, who remains very popular in his district. “I think you’ll see it in just about every [campaign] ad.”

Story Highlights

  • In West Virginia, Trump on Monday endorsed Rep. Alex Mooney, who he said “recently opposed the horrendous Biden Administration’s ‘Non-Infrastructure’ plan, and he opposed the January 6th Committee, also known as the Unselect Committee of partisan hacks and degenerates.”

  • “For my West Virginia constituents, this bill will bring significant investment in hard infrastructure: roads, bridges, sewer and water lines, broadband into every county, flood relief, and upgrades to our aging electric grid. The bill also provides funds to continue research into capturing carbon from coal- and gas-fired power plants,” McKinley wrote.

In a statement, Trump said “Meyer” — which is how Meijer’s name is pronounced — has been “a terrible representative of the Republican Party and beyond.”

Trump nominated Gibbs last year to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management, but he was not confirmed following CNN’s reporting about inflammatory tweets he sent about Democrats in 2016. The tweets included suggestions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager took part in satanic rituals.

Gibbs was asked about the tweets during a hearing and said: “Like all Americans, I have political opinions that I’ve expressed in the past. But I’m very proud to say that during my service in the government, I’ve always led in a nonpartisan manner.” In his endorsement, Trump said Gibbs “will fight hard for the great people of Michigan.”

Trump had previously targeted Republicans who voted for his impeachment, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, but he has broadened his scope in recent days. Over the weekend, Trump said he was looking for primary challengers to endorse in races against several other Republicans, whom he referred to as “sellouts” and “known losers” who voted for impeachment, the Jan. 6 committee or the infrastructure bill.

“Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns,” Trump asked in a statement before listing the targeted lawmakers. He promised the potential challengers, “You will have my backing!” The list omitted three Republicans whom Trump had blasted for backing the infrastructure bill, Reps. Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

Ben Kamisar is a political writer for NBC News.  Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

“I cast my vote FOR the bipartisan infrastructure bill and AGAINST advancing the socialist spending spree,” she said on Twitter. Malliotakis repeatedly defended her vote as good for her constituents on social media.