* “Send your donation to Save America PAC—not to RINOs.”–Donald Trump.
* The theme for last weekend’s RNC donor retreat in South Florida (Four Seasons Resort) was ostensibly about party unity–definitely not “Stop The Spiel.” It included a pilgrimage to MAGA-a-Elba to hear directly from the Oracle of Grievance himself. The invitation-only gathering of deep-pocketed donors also included GOP presidential wannabes, such as Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Florida Gov. Ron DeSuck-up.
Among major Republican players notably absent: former Vice President Mike Pence and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.
* Also not there, unsurprisingly: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But he was referenced by Trump during his mostly off-the-cuff presentation—as only Trump can reference: “A dumb son of a bitch” and a “stone cold loser.” That’s because McConnell ultimately accepted the 2020 election result and didn’t help much in the effort to overturn it. But he did not vote to convict in Trump’s impeachment trial. Had he—imagine the Trump reference.
* “All Republican roads lead to Mar-a-Lago,” underscored Trump adviser Jason Miller. “Trump is still the straw that stirs the news cycle.”
* The grift of gab: When some RNC events were moved to Mar-a-Lago, it meant the GOP was again paying Trump’s private club to use its space—in this case, $100,000.
* “(Trump’s) already proven that he wants to have a major say in–or keep control of–the party, and he’s already shown every sign that he’s going to primary everybody that has not been supportive of him. He complicates everything so much.”–Texas-based GOP fundraiser Fred Zeidman.
* Embarrassing, worrisome Trump fealty notwithstanding, the 45th president’s influence will be impacted by his legal vulnerability. He’s a defendant in at least 30 lawsuits—and three criminal investigations. Speaking of the latter, Manhattan District D.A. Cyrus Vance has brought aboard attorney Mark Pomerantz, the former prosecutor best known for putting Mafioso boss John Gotti behind bars. Word is Pomerantz is already working on flipping Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.