A New England Patriot and a conservative billionaire are trying to take down a GOP senator

Earlier this month, the far-right website Gateway Pundit published a surreptitiously taken recording of Republican Sen. John Boozman saying the 2020 election results were legitimate.

The Arkansas senator immediately reached out to former President Donald Trump — who told allies he was angry about the remarks, which cut against his false claim that the election was stolen from him — to try to contain the damage. During the call, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation, Boozman attempted to mollify the former president by reassuring Trump he supported him and by reiterating his gratitude for Trump’s endorsement in his upcoming primary.

Boozman’s scramble shows the risk he confronts in 2022: The second-term senator is trying to beat back an under-the-radar primary challenge from 33-year-old Jake Bequette, a former Arkansas Razorbacks star and reserve for the NFL’s New England Patriots who is trying to claim the MAGA mantle — and is financed by Richard Uihlein, one of the wealthiest conservative donors in the country.

In response, Boozman has raced to maintain Trump’s support, get backup from

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