Trump's Mara-a-Lago Magapalooza’: Boost allies and settle scores

GOP candidates for Congress, many of whom were recruited to challenge incumbents who have been subject to Trump's wrath will be flocking to Palm Beach on Wednesday to host a fundraiser as well as a forum.

Trump's Mara-a-Lago Magapalooza’: Boost allies and settle scores

Donald Trump's super-PAC launches its first candidate forum at Mar-a-Lago Club on Wednesday. This fundraising event is designed to celebrate Trump and raise the congressional hopefuls that he's supporting against Republicans he considers disloyal.

According to sources familiar with the agenda, the event, which is closed to the media and is called the "Take Back Congress Candidate Forum", promises to be different than the traditional format in which candidates give speeches one after the other from a lectern.

Instead, 10 sitting members of Congress and four Trump super PAC members will host panels or conduct one-on-one-interviews with the 13 congressional candidates scheduled to attend.

One of the highlights is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a top Trump ally, will interview Harriet Hageman for Congress. Hageman was recruited by Trump and his associates to challenge Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo).

Trump was enmity towards Cheney for voting to impeach him in the Capitol riot. Then, she continued to criticize him for lying about voter corruption in his loss to President Joe Biden. She is also a member of the House investigation committee into the Jan. 6 attack.

A second personal recruit for Trump is former football star Herschel Wade. He will be having what's being called a "fireside conversation" with Ted Cruz about the Senate race in Georgia.

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn will interview Adam Laxalt (a Trump ally) for the Nevada Senate.

However, Trump supporters know that the forum is centered on Donald Trump.

Trump has been working for months to prepare to run for the presidency again in 2024. He has built staff, recruited loyal candidates, attacked adversaries, and raised so much money across his three political committees, that he started the year with $122 millions in the bank.

One of these committees is the super PAC "Make America Great Again Again!" that runs this forum.

Admission costs range from $3,000 for basic access to $250,000 for VIP access and more. The super PAC receives all the money, and not the candidates. Trump is not a federal candidate so he has more freedom to raise and spend the money.

This forum will take place in Palm Beach, just one day before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando (about a three hour drive). Trump will be addressing CPAC, and some of the speakers plan to speak, as Trump himself.

The spokesperson for the super PAC declined to comment on Trump's invitation only event. According to , it anticipates that at least 100 people will attend.

"Trump is the most influential post-president in modern history. That one is not something I will ignore. Rep. Mike Waltz said that he believes Trump is.

Waltz, R. Fla., will moderate a panel that features Max Miller, an Ohio congressional candidate and former Trump adviser, who had previously filed to challenge Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in primary.

Like Cheney, Gonzalez was subject to Trump's fury for voting to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot. Unlike Cheney, Gonzalez quit his race.

There will be three more Trump-endorsed candidates who are running against Republican House members who voted for impeachment of Trump over Jan. 6. Loren Culp (who is challenging Rep. Dan Newhouse in Washington state); John Gibbs, a former Housing and Urban Development official, who challenge Rep. Peter Meijer from Michigan; and Russell Fry who is challenging Rep. Tom Rice in South Carolina.

Katie Arrington is running for the primary Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). She also has a spot. Mace did not vote to impeach Trump but she voted for the certification of Biden's win.

Kelly Tshibaka (Trump-backed opponent to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski) is also expected to be there. Murkowski voted for Trump's conviction in his impeachment trial.

This forum is not about settling scores with Republicans. Some of the candidates who will be appearing are former State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus who is running in Tennessee for Congress, and Ryan Zinke, former Interior Secretary, who is running in Montana for a House seat.

Waltz, a combat-decorated Green Beret, sits on House Armed Services Committee. He indicated that his panel would focus "the foreign policy principles" of the Republican Party and help candidates refine their message in light Russian President Vladimir Putin sending troops Monday into two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine following recognition of their independence.

He said that "it's no coincidence both invasions of Ukraine occurred under the Obama administration" and "now under Biden", referring to Russia’s annexation in 2014 of Crimea. "That's the topic I want to talk about and have a real discussion with candidates as they enter campaign season."

Democrats are already rebutting this GOP attack. They point to Trump's admiration for Putin and to the events that led to his first impeachment. This included the delaying of security assistance to Ukraine, which House impeachment management managers claimed was a way to leverage the country to launch an investigation into Biden's family and who was at that time Trump's closest rival for the White House.

Ruben Gallego, a Democratic Representative from Arizona, was a veteran himself and was a member of the Armed Services Committee. He exchanged heated words with Ric Grenell on Twitter, a Trump super PAC board Member and former acting director for National Intelligence.

"This guy advocated for reducing the military footprint in Germany and Europe to Russia's benefit. Gallego stated on Twitter that he now wants to play tough against Russia.

Grenell countered by saying that Trump wanted Europeans to pay more in defense costs and that Democrats let NATO "go adrift" by not requiring members to pay up.

Grenell will speak Wednesday at Trump’s candidate forum with Matthew Whitaker (a fellow board member) who was acting attorney general under Trump.

Kimberly Guilfoyle (super PAC member), is the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., and Pam Bondi (ex-Florida Attorney General) who represented Trump in his first Senate impeachment trials. She replaces Corey Lewandowski (ex-Trump campaign aide), who resigned as chair following last.

Unauthorized to discuss the event publicly, a source who was familiar with the planning of the event said that Bondi had insisted on the forum format and that Trump loved it.

The source stated that Trump's event "like Magapalooza One" will likely be repeated again. It's like Magapalooza One.

There are several candidates who will be attending: Katie Arrington, South Carolina's 1st Congressional District candidate; Ted Budd candidate in North Carolina for U.S. Senate; Loren Culp candidate in Washington's 4th Congressional District candidate; Russell Fry candidate in South Carolina's 7th Congressional District candidate; Adam Laxalt candidate for U.S. Senate, Nevada; Max Miller (ex-aide to Trump White House) and Max Miller (candidate for Ohio's 13th Congressional District); Herschel Walker candidate in Georgia'schel Walker candidate; Derrick Van Orden candidate in the candidate in the candidate in the candidate in the candidate; Herschel Walker candidate; and former Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, former Interior Secretary, which is the only district.

Current Republican members of Congress are scheduled to attend: Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana; Rep. Vernbuchanan of Florida; Rep. Mike Carey from Ohio; Rep. Jim Jordanof Ohio; Rep. Debbie Leskoof Arizona; Rep. Mary Millerof Illinois; Rep. Mike Waltzof Florida; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee; Sen. Ted Cruzof Texas; and Senator Lindsey Grahamof South Carolina.

CORRECTION (February 24, 4:00 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this article misrepresented the number of Montana House seats. Montana has two House seats and not one.

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