Massie blasts Trump's 'ridiculous bullying tactics' in trying to primary Florida Republican



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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) on Monday slammed former President Trump for encouraging a primary challenge against a Florida Republican, saying he was employing “ridiculous bullying tactics.”

Trump on Sunday took aim at Rep. Laurel Lee (R-Fla.), the only member of the Florida House delegation to endorse Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump in the GOP presidential primary. She ultimately endorsed Trump after DeSantis ended his campaign.

“Any great MAGA Republicans looking to run against Laurel Lee in Florida’s 15th Congressional District? IF SO, PLEASE STEP FORWARD!” Trump posted on Truth Social late Sunday night.

Massie, who also initially endorsed DeSantis, shot back at Trump.

“This is unhelpful and unwarranted,” Massie wrote on social media. “@RepLaurelLee is a conservative thoughtful member of the judiciary committee. She endorsed DeSantis for President but then endorsed Trump when DeSantis got out of the race.”

“More of my colleagues should call out these ridiculous bullying tactics,” he said.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who also initially backed DeSantis over Trump in the GOP presidential primary, signaled he agreed with Massie’s sentiment, writing, “Co-sponsor.”

The Hill reached out to Lee’s office and her campaign for a response.

Lee, who served as Florida’s secretary of state during the 2020 election, resisted calls to conduct an audit in the aftermath of the election, as voters became more animated by the false claims that the election was rigged.

Lee repeatedly reminded Floridians that pre- and post-election audits had already been conducted, as required by state law in Florida, and insisted the election was “accurate,” and that “We are confident in the security and integrity of our 2020 election results.”

She went on to endorse DeSantis in April 2023, before he had even formally launched his presidential bid, and then ultimately backed Trump in January.

Massie’s jab at Trump is also not the first time the libertarian-leaning legislator has found himself at odds with the former president.

Trump called for Massie to be kicked out of the Republican Party over his opposition to a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that the then-president was pushing Republicans to pass. 

“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,” Trump posted at the time. 

“WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump said in another social media post.

Trump, however, eventually came back around to endorsing Massie’s 2022 reelection campaign, in which Massie had been expected to win in a landslide.

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