Trump campaign takes steps to prevent a challenge within GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign has launched a state-by-state effort to prevent an intraparty fight that could spill over into the general-election campaign.

The initiative includes changing state party rules, crowding out potential rivals and quelling any early signs of opposition that could embarrass the president.

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Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson SEARCH "JACKSON VARIAS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo SEARCH "JACKSON VARIAS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A combination of photos taken at the National Mall shows the crowds attending the inauguration ceremonies to swear in U.S. President Donald Trump at 12:01(top) on January 20, 2017 and President Barack Obama sometime between 12:07pm and 12:26pm on January 20, 2009, in Washington, U.S., REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (top), Stelios Varias/File Photo SEARCH "JACKSON VARIAS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The statue of Civil War General and former US President Ulysses S. Grant faces the crowd gathering for the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Protesters crowd the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the Womens March on January 21, 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded US cities Saturday in a day of women's rights protests to mark President Donald Trump's first full day in office. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 20: Donald J. Trump acknowledges the crowd after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, on the West Front of the Capitol, January 20, 2017. His wife Melania, also appears. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Crowds watch the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The statue of Civil War General and former US President Ulysses S. Grant faces the Washington Monument and the crowd gathering for the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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While any primary challenge would almost certainly be unsuccessful, Trump aides are looking to prevent a repeat of the convention discord that highlighted the electoral weaknesses of one-term Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

Trump's campaign has deployed what it calls an unprecedented effort to monitor and influence local party operations. It has used endorsements, lobbying and rule changes to increase the likelihood that only loyal Trump activists make it to the Republican nominating convention in August 2020.

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