Rick Scott Asked Trump to Not Get Involved in 2022 Races Until Candidates Win Primaries

U.S. Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican who heads the GOP's Senate fundraising arm, wants former President Donald Trump's help in the 2022 election, but he's asking him to hold off a bit.

"I think he wants to win, so I think he's going to work with me to make sure we win elections," Scott told reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. "My goal is that he's going to make sure that after we win the primaries, that we win the general."

Scott recently traveled to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort and had dinner with the former president, who remains politically popular and a big fundraising draw among his base.

"I said 'I'll tell you my views of we're doing," Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, recalled. "I said 'I hope you'll get involved after the primaries.'"

Scott, who previously was governor of Florida, ran for U.S. Senate at Trump's urging and with his support on the campaign trail in 2018.

As Republicans look to regain control of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House in the upcoming midterm cycle, Scott is just the latest lawmaker to make the trek to Trump's Palm Beach residence to shore up his help in the effort. That could range from fundraising to campaign appearances.

"It's a choice he's going to get to make, how he wants to be involved," Scott said. "What I want people to do is focus on the issues, because that's how I won my races [...] If he does that, I think we're gonna win."

Trump's potential primary endorsement has seen as a valuable tool in key midterm Senate races, including the challenge to Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock in Georgia, and the races to replace retiring Republicans Richard Shelby in Alabama, Roy Blunt in Missouri and Richard Burr in North Carolina, among others.

"I'm not going to get involved in primaries, but I believe the citizens in these states are going to pick, they'll pick well," Scott said. "I think we're going to win because we're on the right side of the issues."

Trump has already tip-toed into the Georgia race.

"Wouldn't it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia? He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL," Trump said in a statement earlier this month. "He is also a GREAT person. Run, Herschel, run!"

Walker, who has been a longtime Trump friend, hasn't publicly expressed interest in running but he spoke at last year's Republican National Convention.

Former U.S. Representative Doug Collins and former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler—both Trump allies while in office—have expressed some interest running in the Georgia Senate race.

In Alabama, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks is running with help from Stephen Miller, who was a top Trump adviser.

A spokesman for Trump and his post-presidency press office didn't respond to Newsweek's request for comment on the conversation or his plans.

U.S. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican who is working on the House side to win the majority, has also been to Florida to visit Trump since the former president left office in January.

Trump Scott
Then-U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott joins U.S. President Donald Trump for a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida on November 3, 2018. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images