“He’s alone”: some Republicans distance themselves from Trump

President Donald Trump’s firm grip on Republicans in Washington is beginning to break down, leaving him more politically isolated than at any other time in his turbulent tenure.

After rooting for a crowd that later staged a violent assault on the US Capitol, Trump appears to have lost some of his most powerful allies, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Two members of his government resigned, as did at least half a dozen attendees. A handful of Republicans in Congress are openly considering joining a renewed impeachment attempt against him.

A Republican Party senator who had already distanced herself from Trump called for his resignation and questioned her own continuity in the formation.

“I want him out,” Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski told The Anchorage Daily News. “It has done enough damage.”

The insurrection that followed a resounding electoral defeat in two ballots in Georgia accomplished what other bad moments in his presidency could not: force Republicans to reassess their relationship with a leader who long ago abandoned tradition and decorum. The result could reshape the party, threatening the influence Trump desires while creating a divide between those in Washington and activists in regions where the president is widely popular.

“At this point, I will no longer defend him,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary during the presidency of George W. Bush and a strategist for the Republican Party and a voter for Trump. “I will not defend him for stirring up the masses and inciting the mob. He is alone”.

At the start of the week, Trump was without a doubt the most dominant force in the Republican arena, the linchpin in appointing the candidate in 2024 or even the Republican presidential nominee himself. There was a growing feeling on Friday that he is marked forever and could be forced to leave office before the end of his term in 12 days.

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In the absence of his resignation, requests for a second impeachment on Capitol Hill increased on Friday. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said that Congress would initiate the process unless Trump leaves the White House “immediately and voluntarily.”

President-elect Joe Biden has yet to endorse the proposal, suggesting there is not enough time before he takes office on January 20 to carry out impeachment or any other constitutional solution.

“Now I’m focused on us taking over as president and vice president on the 20th and moving our agenda forward as quickly as possible,” Biden told reporters.

Trump continues to gain support, especially among many grassroots voters and conservative activists outside of Washington.

Thursday morning he was greeted with an ovation and shouts of “We love you!” when he spoke by phone at a Republican National Committee working breakfast in Florida.

“The vast majority of the committee is in a state of complete denial,” said Bill Palatucci, a Republican from New Jersey who sits on the committee and participated in the meeting. “They are willing to condemn the violence, but without any reference to the role of the president in any of that.”

The president insists that he did nothing wrong. He keeps telling his advisers, at least in private, that they stole his election victory. Republican officials in key contested states, his last attorney general and a number of justices – some appointed by him – have called those allegations unfounded.

Trump had to be persuaded to record the video posted Thursday night in which he finally condemned the robbers on Capitol Hill and first acknowledged their defeat in November, although he initially rejected the prospect of speaking negatively about “my people.” .

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He agreed after White House attorney Pat Cipollone warned him that he could face legal trouble for inciting the riots. Others, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his daughter Ivanka Trump, urged him to send a message that stifles conversation about his possible impeachment either through impeachment or the constitutional process contemplated in the 25th Amendment.

And although he acknowledged that on January 20 there will be a new government, on Friday he announced that he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. He will thus become the first outgoing president since Andrew Johnson 152 years ago not to attend the inauguration of his successor.

Trump is not planning to disappear from the political debate once he leaves the Oval Office, according to his aides, who believe he remains wildly popular with Republican grassroots.

For the avoidance of doubt, the false claims of voter fraud in his November defeat permeated hundreds of thousands of Republican voters in the Georgia Senate ballot this week. About 7 in 10 agreed with the false claim that Biden was not the legitimate president-elect, according to the AP VoteCast, a poll of more than 3,700 voters.

And in the face of continued voter loyalty, elected officials in areas of strong Republican tradition must remain loyal to the outgoing president even if their own cabinet is not.


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