President Donald Trump’s tumultuous past week has widened rifts in his party, between those who vocally support the president’s combative style and others who bridle at it ..
.. After a week that included the president attacking his attorney general, the collapse of a GOP health bill, a surprise effort to bar transgender people in the military and a White House staff shakeup, divisions that were largely set aside at the start of 2017 have emerged anew... Signs are emerging that the intraparty battle could threaten the party’s standing in the 2018 elections and the president’s beyond that. Mr. Jolly, the former Florida congressman, said he is part of a group discussing how to put together a primary challenge to Mr. Trump in 2020... Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman and lieutenant governor of Maryland, said “the president is in his element when in front of a crowd of 40,000 instead of behind his desk dealing with the minutiae of governing. That’s not governing, that’s theater, a reality TV presidency.”
Mr. Trump’s response was something altogether different. He didn’t condemn these Republicans for defying and undermining his drain-the-swamp pledge. He asked them to address more urgent business first, like destroying health care reform and passing tax cuts for the rich. Indeed, while he was tweeting on Tuesday morning, Kellyanne Conway, the incoming counselor to the president, had already been on television supporting Mr. Goodlatte and his gang, saying House Republicans had a “mandate” to curb “overzealousness” over ethics.