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Politics: Trump was upset at connection to Sean Parnell's faltering Senate campaign, blamed Don Jr. for fallout after endorsement: report

Doctor Oz Mulls Republican Senate Run in Pennsylvania

  Doctor Oz Mulls Republican Senate Run in Pennsylvania He’s not really from the state and has no real background in politics. But he does have name ID and money — and Trump’s candidate could implode.[Democrats are] defending 14 seats to the 20 Republicans have up this cycle. And the GOP has five open seats — including three we rate as competitive in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio — while Democrats only got their first vacancy earlier this week with Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy’s retirement, which isn’t expected to become competitive.

Sean Parnell. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic © AP Photo/Keith Srakocic Sean Parnell. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
  • Trump in recent weeks was dismayed at his connection to the faltering Parnell campaign, per Politico.
  • Trump had endorsed Parnell and reportedly blamed Don Jr. for his connection to the candidate's campaign struggles.
  • Parnell on Monday suspended his Senate campaign after losing custody of his children amid abuse allegations.

Former President Donald Trump had in recent weeks expressed dismay at the state of Sean Parnell's Senate candidacy in Pennsylvania and blamed his son, Don Jr., for tethering him to the faltering campaign, according to a Politico report.

GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell's estranged wife wins custody dispute

  GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell's estranged wife wins custody dispute Laurie Snell -- the estranged wife of Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell -- was awarded primary physical custody and sole legal custody of the couple's three children, according to a judge's order that was made public Monday. © Keith Srakocic/AP Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell speaks ahead of a campaign rally with President Donald Trump Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. The decision comes amid a contentious divorce and custody proceedings between Snell and Parnell, who are still legally married but have been separated for years.

Parnell, an Army veteran and former congressional candidate who was highly touted by Trump's son and endorsed by the former president in September, suspended his campaign on Monday after losing a child custody battle.

A judge in Butler County, Pennsylvania, awarded Parnell's estranged wife, Laurie Snell, primary custody and sole legal custody of their three children, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Earlier this month, Snell testified under oath that Parnell choked her until she fought back to escape his wrath, while also stating that he hit their children and repeatedly hurled obscenities at her, per The Inquirer.

With the ensuing turmoil surrounding Parnell, the Republican candidate chose to end his once-promising campaign.

Trump-backed Pennsylvania Senate candidate loses battle for primary custody of children

  Trump-backed Pennsylvania Senate candidate loses battle for primary custody of children Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell lost his legal battle for custody of his three children on Monday, with a judge ruling in favor of his estranged wife, who had accused Parnell of physical and verbal abuse.The judge granted Parnell's wife, Laurie Snell, primary physical custody and sole legal custody of the couple's three children. The child custody battle between Parnell and Snell had captured national attention in recent weeks, especially after Snell testified under oath that Parnell had physically and verbally abused her. In his own testimony, Parnell forcefully denied those allegations.

"There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can't continue with a Senate campaign," he said in a statement on Monday. "My focus right now is 100% on my children, and I want them to know I do not have any other priorities and will never stop fighting for them."

Before Parnell's exit, Trump was reportedly "fixated" on the situation, expressing disappointment with being connected to the campaign's struggles, and was in disbelief over the developments in Parnell's very public custody battle, according to a source who spoke with Politico. Donald Jr. had been a catalyst for his father's endorsement of Parnell, and the deterioration of the Pennsylvania Republican's campaign frustrated the former president, per Politico.

However, despite the damning allegations from Snell earlier this month, Trump did not withdraw his support of Parnell.

Sean Parnell to end Pennsylvania Senate campaign after losing custody of his children

  Sean Parnell to end Pennsylvania Senate campaign after losing custody of his children GOP candidate Sean Parnell suspended his bid for the U.S. Senate on Monday, hours after a judge granted sole legal custody of his three children to his estranged wife after she accused him of domestic abuse. © Provided by Washington Examiner In a statement, Parnell said: "I strongly disagree with the ruling today and I'm devastated by the decision." "I plan on asking the court to reconsider this decision. In the order, two of the leading factors that weighed heavily in the judge's decision revolved around me being a leading U.S. Senate candidate," he said.

Trump's team had even continued to move forward with a January 2022 fundraiser for Parnell at the former president's Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida, according to Politico.

Trump's and Parnell's teams did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

But now the GOP must get a handle on the still-fluid Senate race in Pennsylvania, as they seek to rally behind a potential successor to retiring two-term Sen. Pat Toomey.

With Parnell in the rearview mirror, the remaining Republican candidates include Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer, and Carla Sands, who served as the US ambassador to Denmark under Trump. David McCormick, a combat veteran who runs the prominent hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate. Former Rep. Ryan Costello, a moderate Republican from the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs who served in Congress from 2015 to 2019, might also jump into the race, according a source who spoke with Politico.

And Dr. Mehmet Oz, the cardiothoracic surgeon and longtime television personality, has made some behind-the-scenes moves to potentially enter the race.

Democrats see Pennsylvania — a state narrowly carried by President Joe Biden in 2020 — as one of their best pickup opportunities in their quest to retain control of the Senate next year.

Democratic candidates in the race include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and US Rep. Conor Lamb.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Press: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better .
Not so long ago, any evidence of sexual abuse would disqualify you from serving in the United States Senate. In 1995, Senate Republicans forced Bob Packwood to resign after staffers accused him of sexual abuse, even though Republican leaders knew a Democrat might take his seat. It was either "retain the Senate seat or retain our honor," Ethics Committee Chairman Mitch McConnell piously said at the time.But that was before serial sexual predator Donald Trump poisoned the well. Now a history of sexual abuse is no problem for a Republican Senate candidate.

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