Personality cults and the political dynasties that come in their wake have a way of entwining all politics into familial politics. Policy and political disputes get played out through familial and entourage factions and those family and entourage dynamics in turn shape the politics. These amount to court factions, many woven into Trump’s immediately family, each seemingly with their own MAGA-themed super PAC and associated money gravy trains. Politico’s Playbook newsletter this morning reports that Guilfoyle is on the outs with Trump, who finds her increasingly “annoying.” The tension is centered on the fact that Guilfoyle has signed on with disgraced former Governor Eric Greitens of Missouri in his comeback bid to run for the Senate seat left vacant by the retiring Roy Blunt.
Greteins resigned after news broke that he allegedly tied up, sexually assaulted and then blackmailed a woman he was having an affair with. He allegedly photographed her when she was tied up nude and then threatened to release the photos if she crossed him. Greitens managed to wriggle his way out of the criminal charges produced by the case but not before resigning as governor. The institutional Republican party both in the state and nationally, not surprisingly, is quite happy to never see more of Eric Greitens.
Giulfoyle and maybe Don Jr. being on the outs is the sizzle to this story. But the most interesting thing when you poke at the details are the different family and toady factions that the story turns on. Greitens wants Trump’s endorsement bad. He’s got Guilfoyle signed up. But apparently it’s not just her. Rudy Giuliani and his son Andrew are also lobbying for an endorsement. The Times’ Maggie Haberman reported on this lobbying and Giuliani’s campaigning for Greitens. As you’d expect Giuliani has brought convicted felon and former NYPD police commissioner Bernie Kerik along into the Greitens orbit.
Why doesn’t Trump want to get on board? One obvious reason is the crazy sex and blackmail story. The institutional Republican party has been at best reluctant. I mean, how do they know another sex dungeon story won’t pop after he gets the GOP nomination? But at least one issue seems to be that Greitens is associated with Mike Pence, through Pence’s top advisor Nick Ayers.
Pence, Giuliani, Guilfoyle, Don Jr. … each with a faction, each with an associated PAC, some tied through marriage or romantic relationships to Trump’s family. As I said, it’s classic court politics, the standard fare of monarchies and dictatorial regimes.
Occur to you who’s not included in this picture or similar Trump court-in-exile stories recently?