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Trump holds GOP candidate forum at Mar-a-Lago

Former President Trump on Wednesday hosted a GOP candidate forum at Mar-a-Lago ahead of the November midterm elections.

The forum, called Take Back Congress Candidate Forum, included several prominent members of Congress and others who are running for office this year, Punchbowl reported.

Among those already in Congress who attended were Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Mike Carey (Ohio) and Mary Miller (Ill.).

Current candidates for Congress at the event included Senate hopefuls Herschel Walker (Ga.) and Eric Greitens (Mo.) and House candidates Morgan Ortagus (Tenn.), Harriett Hageman (Wyo.), and Max Miller (Ohio), according to Punchbowl. 

The forum took place as Russia invaded Ukraine on Wednesday night, with Trump commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin at the event. 

“He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart,” Trump said, adding the attack would have never happened under his presidency.

Ukraine is a test in an already divided GOP with a growing isolationist faction of the party. 

The Republican establishment has been united in calling on tough sanctions against Russia and blaming the Biden administration for not doing more to stand up to Putin sooner. 

However, another side of the party does not agree with the significance the establishment is putting on Ukraine and is calling for a lighter response to the Russian aggression.

Tags 2022 midterms 2024 Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Marsha Blackburn Right-wing populism Russia Ted Cruz Ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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