JF in the News: Youngkin Adviser Who Guided Balancing Act with Trump Tries to Smooth Things Over with Former President Trump

Truncated. Full story courtesy of The Washington Post. By Laura Vozzella and Josh Dawsey

RICHMOND — The political consultant who orchestrated Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s complicated, arm’s-length dance with Donald Trump recently made a pilgrimage to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida to smooth over some hard feelings, forge an alliance and tout his company ahead of Trump’s potential 2024 campaign, according to three people familiar with their meeting.

But after winning the GOP nomination and Trump’s endorsement, Youngkin stopped dropping Trump’s name while still leaning into the culture-war themes popular with the ex-president’s fans.

Trump did not seem inclined to let him pivot away, repeatedly weighing in on the race. In an appearance on the “John Fredericks Radio Show” in September, Trump warned that Youngkin risked losing by not fully embracing the Make America Great Again movement.

“The only guys that win are the guys that embrace the MAGA movement,” Trump said then. “When they try to go down a railroad track … ‘Oh, yeah, love Trump. Love Trump. Okay, let’s go, next subject.’ When they do that, nobody, they don’t — they never win. They never win. They have to embrace it.”

Youngkin was still balancing on that track in the immediate aftermath of the election. He granted his first post-election interview to a Trump favorite — Fox News’s Tucker Carlson — and gave a nod to Trump, though just in passing and not by name.“We had help from everybody,” Youngkin told Carlson. “We had a huge support from the Latino community. You know, the president made a call and asked everybody to get out and vote. And we had big turnout in southwest Virginia. We saw parents turn out.”

Youngkin’s remarks in that interview — one of just a few Youngkin has given since his win — fell far short of the big thank-you that some Trump allies feel Youngkin owes the former president, who called into  Richmond-area rally {The John Fredericks Media Network’s Take Back Virginia Rally} in October and headlined an election-eve tele-rally on behalf of Youngkin, who did not participate in either event.

Read the full report from The Washington Post here.

By Laura Vozzella and Josh Dawsey