‘There’s enormous frustration’: Trump forces Republicans off-script… again

The investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified national security records is forcing Republicans into a strained defense during a pre-midterm sprint in which they’d much rather be talking about Joe Biden.

After having decried the FBI’s search of the ex-president’s home, many Trump defenders went silent upon the release on Friday of the probable-cause affidavit that revealed the extent of Trump’s efforts to hold onto the top-secret documents. GOP worries about the developments of the case and Trump announcing a 2024 run before November are giving way to a subtle, broader warning about putting the former president too much on the ballot this fall.

“Republicans should focus on defeating Democrats, and every Democrat should have the word Biden in front of their name,” said Trump ally and former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich. “The Republican focus should be to win the election in November. Trump will do a fine job defending himself. He’ll be fine.”

Some top Republicans acknowledge the growing angst and concern, as it’s become clearer that

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