The Trump Administration has yet to reach its one-month anniversary, but it is already identifying potential rivals for the 2020 presidential race – and it is focusing on Connecticut’s junior senator as a serious threat.
According to a New York Post report, Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon requested a thorough background check on U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy to determine his strengths and weaknesses as a Democratic presidential candidate. Murphy, who was elected to his first term in 2012, has been an outspoken critic of the administration’s immigration policies and has repeatedly demanded that the president release his tax returns. Murphy, who faces re-election next year, was touted as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, but he has yet to drop any hints that he is interested in pursuing higher office.
Bannon has also directed background checks on two additional high ranking Democrats – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper – plus Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has engaged in a war of attrition with Trump via Twitter. However, two prominent New York Democrats are not being considered as potential 2020 threats: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chances are being rejected due to an ongoing corruption probe of a former aide and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand is being dismissed as not having the networking infrastructure for an expensive national campaign.