Dozens of Ex Trump Aides Discuss Ways to Counter Him: 'Overflowing with Ideas'

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Alyssa Farah and Anthony Scaramucci
Alyssa Farah and Anthony Scaramucci

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty Images

About three dozen erstwhile advisers to Donald Trump reportedly held a conference call last week to strategize ways to, they say, hinder the former president's political influence in this year's midterm elections and the 2024 race for the White House, which is almost certain to feature Trump.

Former White House press secretary and tell-all author Stephanie Grisham first spoke about the group of never-again Trumpers on the anniversary of Jan. 6 but was not on the call last Monday because she was sick with COVID-19, according to a CNN story published Tuesday.

Ex-Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly as well as ex-Communications Directors Alyssa Farah and Anthony Scaramucci and former Mike Pence aid Olivia Troye were on the call, according to the network.

They were joined by "a lot of faces I had not seen speaking publicly about why Trump is dangerous," one of the participants told CNN. "People who had not previously spoken out who were now willing to speak out and share their perspective."

Former Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Miles Taylor, who wrote an anonymous op-ed for the New York Times headlined "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" in 2018, reportedly helped lead the call.

Taylor told CNN the group was "overflowing with ideas" on how to be effective, emphasizing the desire to go beyond anti-Trump messaging.

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iles Taylor and Olivia Troye
iles Taylor and Olivia Troye

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Instagram

"We all agreed passionately that letters and statements don't mean anything," Taylor told CNN. "The two operative words are 'electoral effects.' How can we have tangible electoral effects against the extremist candidates that have been endorsed by Trump?"

The former president, who remains robustly popular with the Republican base, has backed a multitude of candidates since leaving office in gubernatorial, Senate and House races across the country.

John Bolton, a national security adviser to Trump-turned-critic, did not join the call but CNN reports that his top aide, Sarah Tinsley, shared polling information collected by Bolton's super PAC that suggested Trump's influence in the Republican party is waning.

Without a name, official membership or even specific goals, the group is still in its infancy and it remains unclear if a cohesive strategy will solidify.

Trump has dismissed other such conservative movements against him as opportunistic and out of touch.

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"We're still trying to figure out what it is" one participant told CNN.

The attendees reportedly have a diversity of political backgrounds and points of view — as well and perhaps a simmering rivalry or two — though they all share an aversion to the man they once served.

There is "something powerful about the fact that not everyone on this call was friends," Troye said. "Whatever history there has been, they put that aside."

The group, CNN reports, may hold another call this week.

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