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Trump allies want to reverse Greg Abbott endorsement


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addresses former President Donald Trump during a border security briefing to discuss further plans in securing the southern border wall on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is facing pressure from Republican donors and operatives to rescind his endorsement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who is entrenched in a primary election for his seat.

Trump’s team has heard from allies who are trying to encourage the former president to withdraw his support for Abbott, according to people familiar with the matter. These people declined to be named in order to speak freely about the campaign behind the scenes to take on Abbott.

Trump endorsed Abbott for governor last year as the Texas Republican was one of the president’s most vocal supporters. Abbott faces numerous Republican rivals in the primary, including former Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West and businessperson and former state Sen. Don Huffines.

The Texas governor is in the midst of 60 campaign stops throughout the state as he heads into the primary. Abbott, 64, has led many recent polls in the primary as he seeks a third term in office.

With many of the polls in Abbott’s favor, it’s unlikely that Trump will reverse course and pull his endorsement. In a GOP where Trump holds enormous sway and can swing large swaths of Republican voters on his own, maintaining the former president’s endorsement could be critical to Abbott’s chances of winning the gubernatorial primary. The primary takes place March 1, and early voting starts next week.

The people pressuring Trump include some of the wealthiest donors to his political organization, including those who regularly spend time with him at his private club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, people briefed on the matter explained.

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Abbott has faced scrutiny for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic from both Democrats and conservative Republicans. He has also been criticized for how he managed last year’s winter storm, when the state saw massive blackouts, and for the deployment of Texas National Guard troops on the southern border with Mexico.

Representatives for Trump and Abbott’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

As Abbott faces some heat for his job performance, Huffines has received endorsements from at least two Trump allies: Jenna Ellis, one of the former president’s previous legal advisors, and Katrina Pierson, a former advisor to Trump’s 2020 campaign. Pierson ended up working as a consultant for the Huffines campaign.

Beyond the policy differences Abbott’s opponents may have with him, including the governor’s handling of the pandemic, various Trump allies have also taken issue with Mitch Carney, a reported Abbott campaign staffer. They have shared reports with the former president’s office that Carney tweeted and retweeted posts critical of Trump.

Those Carney tweets were part of opposition research created by Abbott’s…


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