Donald Trump is moving to assert total dominance over the Republican Party in a harbinger of the strongman rule he envisages for his possible second term, following his twin triumphs in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ex-president is trying to intimidate Nikki Haley into abandoning the GOP presidential race. He’s warning donors who contribute to the former South Carolina governor they’ll be ostracized. Trump’s supporters launched a bid to jolt the Republican National Committee to anoint him presumptive nominee after only two nominating races — until Trump backtracked amid concern from his allies it could backfire. And the 45th president is now pressuring GOP members of Congress to kill an immigration deal to deprive President Joe Biden of a victory and to ensure he can exploit the border crisis on the campaign trail. Trump has also been browbeating former opponents and key decision makers in the GOP to quickly endorse him as he forces the party to genuflect before him as he did during four years in the White House. Related article Haley remains defiant as Trump ratchets up attacks on last-standing 2024 GOP rival Trump’s brisk assertion of his growing power as the likely nominee is a characteristic dismantling of constraints that echoes his behavior in office. He was twice impeached in his single term, which ended after he tried to overturn an election in which voters ejected him from office. It is consistent with Trump’s self-created persona as the strongest person in every room that sustained him through a life in business, reality television and as an ex-president. Among Trump’s critics, his behavior is stirring fresh concerns that his potential second term could mean a dawn of autocracy in the Oval Office. And Trump’s desire to pressure Haley out of the race after only two contests – […]

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By Donato