WASHINGTON (AP) — At the invitation of Donald Trump, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks recently led a small group of House Republicans out to the former president’s New Jersey golf club, where they dined on beef tenderloin, posed for photos and briefed him on strategy for the 2022 midterm elections.
Banks tweeted a picture of himself and Trump grinning widely while flashing a thumbs-up after the session in June, saying the meeting was “entirely focused on the future of the Republican Party.”
Whatever that future may hold, Banks, 41, is working aggressively to play a prominent role in it. A politician with mountaintop ambition, he is rising in the ranks of the House Republicans — and in the estimation of the mercurial Trump.
The overnight trip to Trump’s Bedminster resort punctuated a political journey, from a county council seat in small-town northeast Indiana to prominence in Congress, for Banks, who is now tasked with crafting a Trump-inspired policy agenda to help win Republicans back control of the House.