Top White House aides, lawmakers, donors and political consultants are privately asking whether President Donald Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril. In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans inside and outside the White House told CNN conversations are ramping up behind the scenes about whether Trump fully grasps that his feuds with members of his own party and shortage of legislative achievements could soon put the fate of his presidency at risk.
Donors who trekked to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in support of House Speaker Paul Ryan were treated to a slide show late this summer to fundraise off those very fears, according to multiple attendees. Among the slides: An overview of the Democrats who would be tapped to lead key committees if the GOP loses control, including Rep. Elijah Cummings as the head of the House Oversight Committee.
A number of Republicans asked not to have their names used in order to speak candidly about a sensitive topic. If we lose the House, he could get impeached. Do you think he understands that?” one top GOP donor recalled an exasperated Republican senator saying privately. “Won’t it be ironic that Steve Bannon helped get the President elected and impeached?” another top Republican official said in a moment of venting.
Democrats currently hold 194 House seats, 218 are needed to win the gavel.