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Conservative Political Action Conference Speakers
Elise Stefanik speaking in Washington on March 5, 2023. Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

Eyes on 2024: Whose House? Still Trump’s House — for the most part

News of a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump came as House Republicans gathered in Florida for their annual retreat.

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Trump doesn’t have a huge number of congressional endorsements for his re-election campaign, but he still has a strong grip on the GOP. Just look at how House Republicans reacted on Monday to Trump’s possible indictment as they gathered in Florida for their annual retreat. The potential indictment dominated questions and conversations for GOP leaders and rank-and-file members, NBC News’ Scott Wong, Ali Vitali and Kyle Stewart report from Orlando. 

Three GOP committee chairs — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil, R-Wis. — called on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to testify before Congress and raised questions about the office’s use of federal funds. Of those three lawmakers, only Jordan has endorsed Trump’s campaign.

GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., one of about two-dozen House Republicans who have backed Trump’s re-election, told reporters that she spoke to Trump on Monday and predicted an indictment will help him politically, per the NBC News team covering the retreat. She suggested Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the potential presidential contender who attacked the Manhattan prosecutor but also appeared to slight Trump, would see “slippage in his polls.”

 “I think you’re going to see President Trump continue to solidify his position in the Republican nomination,” Stefanik said. 

But not everyone was jumping to Trump’s defense. 

“It looks a little political, but I think we’re all exhausted from the drama of Trump,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. 

In other campaign news…

More legal drama: In a different legal case, Trump’s attorneys is attempting to stop the release of a Georgia grand jury’s report on its investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election, per NBC News’ Summer Concepcion, Blayne Alexander and Charlie Gile.

Notable silence: Trump has remained largely silent on the issue of abortion so far, raising some questions from GOP activists, the Associated Press reports. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told the AP she believes all of the GOP candidates would support a national abortion ban.

Fox and the elephant: Revelations that Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch and other prominent Fox personalities privately criticized Trump haven’t stopped GOP presidential hopefuls from flocking to the network as they court GOP voters, NBC News’ Allan Smith and Natasha Korecki report. Even Trump “is open to returning soon,” they write.

Trippy: A new PAC is launching to boost candidates who support the use of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health conditions and “to secure federal funding to further education and research,” per NBC News’ Alicia Victoria Lozano.

Walk(er)ing away: Former Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year, saying, “After getting so much done as governor, I would be bored as senator.”

McCormick spices it up: Republican Dave McCormick, who is considering running for Senate in Pennsylvania again after making an unsuccessful run last year, is launching a new PAC to support down-ballot Republican candidates and grow the party’s mail-in voting efforts, the Dispatch reports. 

The Elephant-eye State: The Washington Post reports on how Iowa has transformed from a swing state to the “Florida of the North.” 

Recruitment watch: Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, a Democrat, announced Monday that he won’t run for Congress in Michigan’s 7th District, which Rep. Elissa Slotkin is vacating to run for Senate, per the Detroit News.

Chicago scoops: NBC News’ Natasha Korecki scooped two developments in Chicago’s mayoral race on Monday: Former longtime Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush has endorsed Paul Vallas, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO, over Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. And Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Chicago on Sunday for a get-out-the-vote rally, but he is not endorsing a specific candidate. 

Bluegrass bickering: A new ad from an outside group aligned with former Ambassador Kelly Craft’s Kentucky gubernatorial bid hits state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, depicting him as a “soft on crime” teddy bear wearing a “woke” button. 

Cash dash: Fox News reports that Republican businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign has raised money from more than 10,000 individual donors. While it’s unclear where the Republican National Committee will set the bar, it’s possible the party uses individual donation thresholds as part of its rubric for candidates to qualify for their presidential debates. 

A long shot: Former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers floated a possible presidential bid in an interview with Fox News