Politics: Trump portrayed as a 'loser' by 2024 rivals courting his big donors at Las Vegas conference, report says

Trump will make a 'professional' and 'buttoned-up' 2024 bid announcement, top advisor says, despite many urging him to delay

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Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to guests at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting on November 18, 2022. Scott Olson/Getty Images © Scott Olson/Getty Images Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to guests at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting on November 18, 2022. Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Potential rivals for the 2024 GOP nomination wooed donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition's meeting.
  • Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo, and Larry Hogan are among the listed speakers.
  • Donald Trump, who announced his 2024 run this week, is not attending the Las Vegas gathering in person.

Rivals for the Republican nomination in 2024 have been courting former President Donald Trump's big donors during an annual conference in Las Vegas ahead of the next presidential primary season, AP reported.

The two-day Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, which began on Friday, is taking place days after Trump became the first Republican to announce his 2024 campaign.

Critics of the former president, which includes former Cabinet members, have been making speeches and gathering with major Republican donors on the Las Vegas Strip, with some raising Trump's failings, AP said.

The event features a who's-who of Trump's potential 2024 opponents. Private donor meetings are taking place behind closed doors, AP said, as well as in-person speeches by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a prominent Trump rival, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump said would be "very disloyal" if he ran against him, per AP.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Florida Sen. Rick Scott are also listed as speakers.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks to guests at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting on November 18, 2022 Scott Olson/Getty Images © Scott Olson/Getty Images Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks to guests at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting on November 18, 2022 Scott Olson/Getty Images

Trump, however, will not be attending in person. He is instead expected to make a video address on Saturday, AP reported.

Hogan, a presidential prospect, told the AP that "maybe there's a little blood in the water, and the sharks are circling."

Potential rivals have been painting Trump as a defeated candidate, according to AP. The news agency said that Mike Pompeo, Trump's former secretary of state, said ahead of his Friday night address: "We were told we'd get tired of winning. But I'm tired of losing."

January 6 committee staff are angry at Liz Cheney for focusing too much on Trump and think she's doing it for political gain, report says

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Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 18, 2022. WADE VANDERVORT/AFP via Getty Images © WADE VANDERVORT/AFP via Getty Images Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 18, 2022. WADE VANDERVORT/AFP via Getty Images

Christie, another potential presidential prospect, reportedly highlighted Trump's political failures while dining with wealthy donors, AP reported.

"In my view, he's now a loser. He's an electoral loser," said Christie in a follow-up interview on Friday, per AP. "You look at a general electorate, I don't think there's a Democrat he can beat because he's now toxic to suburban voters on a personal level, and he's earned it."

Sununu, attending after he defeated his Democratic opponent in last week's gubernatorial election, told AP that his party could not be expected to rally behind Trump this time around. Sununu described Republicans as "just moving on," per AP.

And Pence, according to the news agency, made a subtle jab at the former president in his keynote address. He reportedly said: "To win the future, we as Republicans and elected leaders must do more than criticize and complain."

AP noted that big donors in attendance do not appear enthusiastic about backing Trump in 2024.

Miriam Adelson, the wife of the late billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson, is staying neutral in the primary, the news agency reported. Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, doesn't have plans to support Trump in 2024, a spokesperson said, per AP.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of The Blackstone Group private equity firm, told Axios that he's defecting from Trump and is instead looking toward "a new generation of leaders."

And AP said that on Friday, CEO Phillip Friedman, who has described himself as a Trump supporter, expressed that he is open to considering other candidates. "There's a couple of other people who have his policies but don't have the baggage," Friedman said of Trump, per AP.

January 6 committee staff are angry at Liz Cheney for focusing too much on Trump and think she's doing it for political gain, report says .
Staffers said the January 6 committee's report was focusing too much on Trump and ignoring police and intel failings, The Washington Post reported.The Post spoke to 15 former and current staffers who said Cheney, the committee's vice chair, has exerted high levels of control over the investigation and the final report. Some staffers said they felt that Cheney's focus on Trump was for her own political gain.

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