Trump Lashes Out At Conservative Republican, Calls Him 'RINO' For Backing Ron DeSantis

The former president says someone should primary Rep. Chip Roy, except he's very popular and the deadline to do so has already passed. Oh well!

Former President Donald Trump is calling for a primary challenge against Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) because Roy backs Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, for president.

Roy appeared alongside DeSantis in Iowa for a Fox News interview that caught Trump’s attention on Monday evening.

“Has any smart and energetic Republican in the Great State of Texas decided to run in the Primary against RINO Congressman Chip Roy,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, using an acronym for “Republican in name only.” “For the right person, he is very beatable. If interested, let me know!!!”

Roy might be beatable, but the filing deadline for primary elections in Texas was Dec. 11, so Trump’s recruitment effort might be a week too late.

Roy is one of the most prominent Republicans in Congress backing DeSantis over Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Roy endorsed DeSantis, his former House colleague, earlier this year, before DeSantis had even formally announced his candidacy.

Though Roy was among of the minority of House Republicans who voted to certify Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, he’s by no means a moderate. He’s a leading member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus and frequently rails against his own GOP colleagues for being insufficiently conservative. Roy fumed at House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), for instance, for managing to avoid a government shutdown in November.

On Tuesday, Roy reposted supportive messages on social media from other accounts responding to Trump, including one from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) calling him one of the most conservative members of Congress.

“I can tell you with certainty that this shortsighted effort to intimidate Chip will not work,” Massie wrote.

Trump has previously had some some success backing primary opponents against his critics, most notably former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who helped lead the congressional investigation into Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Roy, for his part, mostly avoids directly criticizing Trump, preferring instead to praise DeSantis.

“We’re for principles, not princes,” Roy said on Fox News on Monday, deflecting a question about DeSantis doing badly in polls. “We don’t coronate anybody.”

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