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Former President Donald Trump stands to influence politics for years to come

'Trump's endorsement carries a great amount of weight,' RNC rep says
Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 18:14:08-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The top Republican in the House of Representatives made a trip to Mar-a-Lago on Thursday.

The decision by U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to have a face-to-face chat with former President Donald Trump is sending a signal that many political watchers are noticing.

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"As they say in poker, 'That's a tell,'" said Peter Feaman, a Boynton Beach resident who is with the Republican National Committee.

Feaman said McCarthy's visit to Palm Beach means former Trump intends not to disappear from politics. Most Democrats agree with that statement.

Sophia Nelson, secretary of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party
Sophia Nelson believes Donald Trump will continue to try to be involved in politics while living in Palm Beach.

Sophia Nelson, secretary of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, believes the former president may influence local Republican candidates to mimic his style and challenge moderate Republicans in South Florida.

"He did a lot of partisan politics when he was in Washington, and so with him being here, and just how he lost in his mind's eye, the way he lost the race, it’s that cloud [that] will settle over Palm Beach," Nelson said.

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Nelson said the campaign of Trump supporter Laura Loomer for the 21st congressional district is a recent example. The far-right candidate won her primary but lost the race since Palm Beach County is still decidedly Democrat.

Peter Feaman
Peter Feaman with the Republican National Committee believes Trump will turn most of his attention to influencing congressional races around the U.S.

Feaman said he believes Trump will likely remain close with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis but will turn most of his attention to influencing congressional races around the country.

"Any kind of federal candidate might want to stop by Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence and try to obtain his blessing because there's no doubt Mr. Trump's endorsement carries a great amount of weight in Republican primaries," Feaman said.

Feaman also said one other goal of the office of the former president is to try and preserve Trump's legacy as president -- something he said that many in Washington seem to be trying to erase.

"I think (Trump) will be a political force here," Nelson said.