- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 3, 2017

EXCLUSIVE:

In what might be interpreted as a zinger sent President Trump’s way, two “Never Trump” officials of the GOP’s national governing body have sent fired former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus their thanks for making the election of Mr. Trump possible in the first place.


“No one knows better than the RNC members how much effort, expertise and strategic planning you contributed to the 2016 victories in the House, Senate, and White House,” Republican National Committee members Miriam Hellreich and Jeff Kent wrote to Mr. Priebus, who had served terms as the elected RNC chairman before Mr. Trump named him White House chief of staff.

“Without your vision, your tenacious spirit and your incredible success as a fundraiser, we would not have captured so many seats and the much-sought-after presidency,” wrote Mrs. Hellreich of Hawaii and Mr. Kent of Washington state. They are vice chairmen of the RNC’s Western Region, one of four regional divisions of the 168-member RNC.

The two Western vice chairmen said they wrote the letter “on behalf” of the other Western Region RNC members.

At least one pro-Trump national committee member was not amused.

“Miriam and Jeff penned the letter to Reince, thanking him for his spectacular selfless service to the RNC — sent on behalf of all of us in the Western Region,” said Nevada RNC member Diana Orrock.

“If I sound sarcastic, it’s because I am, if you know anything about my history with Reince,” Mrs. Orrock, a staunch Trump partisan during the nomination contest and general election last year, said in a email to The Washington Times.

For a time during the Republican presidential nominating convention in Cleveland in July of 2016, Mr. Priebus conspired against a Trump nomination.

The two authors of the flattering Priebus letter were devotees of the Never Trump movement from the start.

“We all learned much from you through the genuine way you related to members, your humble spirit and your desire to have everyone working as a team,” Mrs. Hellreich and Mr. Kent told Mr. Priebus in their letter. “It was exciting and fun to be a part of your team!”

Mr. Priebus proved to be a prodigious money raiser for the RNC. In his first term as chairman. he dug the committee out of a $25 million debt left by the anything-but-prodigious money-raising effort of Priebus predecessor Michael Steel.

It was Mr. Priebus who raised the money and fielded the ground organization that Mr. Trump lacked and without which Mr. Trump could not have won last November. The chief of staff job was his reward.

The rewarder-in-chief, however, came to learn that the skill required for raising political donations isn’t the same as for making the White House trains run on time and on the right tracks.


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