Special Elections Expose Rift Between House Republicans and White House

In States, Voting On

WASHINGTON — The House Republican campaign arm is increasingly at odds with the White House over how best to retain the party’s congressional majorities and, more broadly, who is in charge of the midterm campaign effort as Republicans spend millions of dollars in special elections to retain House seats in conservative-leaning districts.

President Trump’s decision to tap four House Republicans for top administration posts forced the National Republican Congressional Campaign to defend open seats amid a fierce backlash against the president from energized liberals. Two of those races, in Georgia and Montana, have been surprisingly competitive, and as Republicans scramble to hold the seats, senior Republican officials have begun sniping.

The friction came into view this week after Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, told The New York Times that he had lobbied the White House to appoint some House Democrats from Republican-leaning districts to the cabinet or ambassadorial posts, in hopes that the party could flip the seats.

“They have not availed themselves of those opportunities,” Mr. Stivers said of Mr. Trump’s administration.

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