“Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman,” Trump said in a statement released by Save America, the former President’s political action committee. “He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT.”
Miller announced his campaign for Ohio’s 16th District on Friday, writing on Twitter, “I’m running for Congress to stand up for Northeast Ohioans. They overwhelmingly voted for the America First agenda. But their Congressman betrayed them when he voted to impeach President Trump.”
Trump did not explicitly mention Gonzalez’s vote to impeach him. “Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart. Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
But Gonzalez, who easily won reelection to the solidly red seat in November after first winning the district in 2018, has remained defiant in the face of criticism, telling local outlets that he does not regret the vote and is willing to lose his seat over the decision.
“I think it speaks to the former President’s mindset,” Gonzalez said. “He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country.”
Citing police records, the Post reported that Miller — an office aide — had been charged with assault and resisting arrest in 2007 following an altercation with another man, a case that was later dismissed.
“Growing up, everyone makes mistakes,” Miller told the Post at the time. “Who I was in the past is not who I am now.” CNN had not independently confirmed the Post’s reporting.
A then-White House official told the Post at the time that Miller’s background serving in the Marine Corps Reserve “speaks volumes to his willingness to serve his country.”
Gonzalez isn’t the only Republican who Trump may target heading into 2022.
CNN’s Dan Merica, Donald Judd, Kate Bennett and Clare Foran contributed to this report.
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