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Protesters supporting Donald Trump march down Fifth Avenue in March. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Republican officials are rendering an unequivocal verdict: They want to cement former President Trump's politics and policies into the foundation of the GOP for many years to come.

Why it matters: The debate over Trump's post-election hold on the GOP is over — it has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

The evidence is overwhelming: 

  • House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, a Trump critic, is expected to get booted from leadership next week for saying Trump's claims of an illegitimate Biden victory are lies and destructive. 
  • Trumpian voting restrictions like Georgia's are now being debated in Texas, Florida, Arizona, Iowa and other states.
  • The Trump positions on trade and immigration — both of which broke with Bush-era orthodoxy — are now the Republican positions.
  • The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 violence have gone mostly silent, and in at least one case turned on Cheney. 
  • The entire House GOP leadership will soon be full-throated Trumpers. 
  • House Rs expect Trump-backed candidates to crush his critics in contested primaries. 
  • State-level Republican leaders are often as — or more — Trumpian than national leaders, and in many cases will control redistricting.

Trump senior adviser Jason Miller tells Axios Trump rallies are likely to "start as soon as late spring or early summer."

  • Miller said Trump "has already begun to vet and endorse candidates for 2022, with an eye toward electing not just Republican candidates, but America First Republican candidates."
  • "His endorsement lifts candidates above the pack and often clears the primary field," Miller said. "The general election endorsement provides access to 'Trump voters' not normally accessible to Republicans."
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Go deeper

Liz Cheney: GOP is "at a turning point"

Photo: Melina Mara-Pool via Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) doubled down on her break from former President Trump in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Wednesday, warning the Republican Party must decide whether it's going to "choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution."

Why it matters: The editorial is her most extensive comment since leadership turned on her. Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, has continued to speak out against Trump since her vote to impeach him for inciting the Capitol riots, much to the aggravation of some GOP leaders who now look to oust her.

Social media's "in-kind contribution to Biden"

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Facebook's continued suspension of Donald Trump's account extends the silencing of Joe Biden's most potent critic — and the current president's control over the national political narrative into his second 100 days.

Why it matters: Biden has been able to successfully focus on COVID-19 relief, his infrastructure plan and fielding his new administration, in part, because Trump hasn't been able to shake his social media muzzle and bray about the migration crisis or any White House misstep.

Updated May 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump, House GOP leaders endorse Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

Photos: Samuel Corum/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise are openly supporting Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as House Republican conference chair.

The latest: "Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership," Trump said in a statement. "Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!"