Former President Donald Trump attacked Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) on Friday morning, as the Republican party grapples nationally with what has widely been seen as an underwhelming performance in this week's 2022 midterm elections.
In a message posted to his Truth Social platform, Trump asserted himself as the animating force behind Youngkin's 2021 gubernatorial victory over Terry McAuliffe, writing that "Young Kin (now that's an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn't it?) in Virginia couldn't have won without me."
Trump's assertion of having "telephonically" rallied for Youngkin is likely a reference to his making a brief phone call into a virtual campaign event, where he called the candidate "a great man," and "a wonderful guy." Youngkin, who spent much of the race conspicuously working to limit his public associations with Trump, did not attend the event.
Facing mounting criticism from within the GOP for his role in diluting the expected "red wave" of Republican midterm victories, Trump has spent much of his post-election energy on attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), whose decisive wins on Tuesday have strengthened his position as a potential 2024 presidential nominee — and as such, a likely Trump rival. Trump's Friday attack on Youngkin — also seen as a potential 2024 presidential rival — followed a similar theme as his earlier offensive against DeSantis, framing himself as the GOP kingmaker without whose political clout and acumen both governors would have lost.