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America Strong PAC website

A handful of Donald Trump campaign alumni have formed a new group to try to unseat the 10 Republican House members who crossed party lines to vote to impeach the former president earlier this year, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump's faithful are starting to build the infrastructure to keep the GOP in thrall to the 45th president.

What's new: America Strong PAC officially formed early this month. Jack Mantua, who was the Trump campaign's executive director of strategic coalitions, is treasurer.

  • The super PAC's website pledges to "remove the ten pretenders," and features a 30-second ad-style video going after Rep. Liz Cheney.
  • A person familiar with the group's plans said America Strong intends to buy digital and broadcast ads. The group also plans to build grassroots activism programs in at least some of the 10 target districts.

What they're saying: Bill White, an Atlanta businessman and high-dollar Trump fundraiser, has been helping to line up potential donors for the organization.

  • White told Axios that America Strong is particularly focused on Cheney, who was recently removed from her House leadership post after criticizing Trump for fomenting the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.
  • "I think running for office for her is going to be something this group is going to be tracking permanently," White added.

The House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump are: Cheney of Wyoming, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, David Valadao of California, Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko of New York, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina and Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

The other side: Allies of some of Trump's top critics are building up their own political infrastructure.

  • Operatives aligned with Kinzinger have kickstarted independent organizations to try to insulate Trump critics from party blowback.

Go deeper

8 mins ago - Sports

NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.

2 hours ago - Sports

The new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Cy Cyr/PGA Tour via Getty Images

A new(ish) face will be leading NBCUniversal's prime-time coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games: veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico.

Why it matters: It's Tirico's first run as prime-time host for the Summer Olympics. Legendary broadcaster Bob Costas hosted 12 Olympic Games between 1988 and 2016 for NBC before handing over the prime-time spot to Tirico in 2018.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Sports

Behind the scenes at the COVID Olympics

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios, Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

TOKYO — The COVID rule-breaking was obvious at Friday's opening ceremony, when athletes were clearly visible on TV with masks below their noses, but an athlete tells Axios that the rule-breaking has been going on well before that.

  • It's been happening at least since athletes arrived in the Olympic Village, where masks were dropped below noses and different teams were forced to share buses.