ELECTION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “With the president by his side, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice made a dramatic announcement before a raucous crowd of ‘MAGA’-hat wearing supporters: He was bolting a Democratic Party that had ‘walked away’ from him to join Donald Trump’s GOP. Two years later, Trump is now repaying the favor. A pair of the president’s top lieutenants, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, are joining Justice’s campaign as advisers as the governor tries to navigate a treacherous 2020 reelection bid. The move illustrates how Republicans up and down the ballot are hitching themselves to Trump’s ever-expanding and newly professionalized 2020 political machine. With the president lining up a team of experienced political strategists, deploying an ambitious national field program, and exercising nearly universal control over the party apparatus, Republicans are eager to exploit his organization for their own benefit. But Justice may be going the furthest. Stepien and Clark are two of Trump’s most loyal political aides: Both worked on his 2016 bid before going on to serve in the White House. They recently joined the president’s 2020 campaign, where they are overseeing an aggressive effort to ensure that anti-Trump activists don’t overtake next summer’s convention.”

Alex Isenstadt, “Trump rushes to rescue of besieged party-switcher,” Politico, April 11, 2019 7:48 am