(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Republican Sen. Rick Scott this week, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN, at a time when the party is heatedly debating Trump’s role in its future.
Scott chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The source said the sit down has been planned for weeks.READ MORE: Feds Pay First Florida School District For COVID-19 Mask Mandate
However, it comes as tensions are increasing between the former President, the NRSC and the National Republic Congressional Committee.
The visit, which was first reported by The Washington Post, also underscores the GOP split over Trump’s legacy in the party as it moves forward in the Biden era. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Steve Scalise have also visited with Trump and most House Republicans — with the notable exception of GOP conference chair Liz Cheney — view the former President as their standard-bearer.
But Trump’s support is less pronounced in the Senate, where GOP leader Mitch McConnell and John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican who faces reelection in South Dakota next year, have both worked to distance themselves from the former President.
McConnell delivered scathing remarks about Trump on the Senate floor after voting to acquit him in the impeachment trial, even suggesting he might be criminally prosecuted for his actions leading up to the January 6 Capitol attack.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Partly Cloudy With Scattered Afternoon Storms Through Saturday, Cold Front Moves In Sunday
The rift has been further complicated in recent days by letters from Trump’s lawyers to the Republican National Committee and the party’s House and Senate campaign arms warning against using Trump’s name to raise money.
In tweet-like statements, Trump has urged his supporters to give money directly to his Save America political action committee — leaving the network of campaign committees and affiliated super PACs that typically lead midterm efforts in the cold.
“No more money for RINOS,” Trump said in a Monday evening statement. (RINOS stands for ‘Republicans in name only.’) “They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base–they will never lead us to Greatness. Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com. We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!”
But while Trump may put his name behind a candidate, McConnell is still armed with a well-funded outside group, the Senate Leadership Fund, which stands poised to drop millions in key races to try and push the GOP leader’s preferred choices across the finish line.MORE NEWS: Tracking The Tropics: Hurricane Sam Rapidly Strengthening In Atlantic
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