Republican senators turn on Trump over his attack on the Constitution: ‘He goes from MAGA to RINO’
Republican Senators sought to distance themselves from former president Donald Trump’s remarks calling for laws to be terminated so that he could be reinstated as president.
Over the weekend, Mr Trump made the remarks in response to a Fox News report that the FBI met with Twitter and other social media platforms ahead of the 2020 presidential election as a means to combat disinformation.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social, his networking platform.
But Republican Senators arriving to Capitol Hill on Monday sought to distance themselves.
“Kind of at a loss for words,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas told The Independent .
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana told The Independent he could somewhat understand Mr Trump’s anger after Twitter owner Elon Musk released some of the internal discussions that led to the social media giant censoring a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“I think the document dump demonstrates that, that pre-Musk if you took the Democratic Party and the bad and White House and turn them upside upside down and shook them, the Twitter would fall out of their pocket,” he told The Independent . “It's clear to me that the Democratic Party and Biden will be playing a major role and what was on and was not on Twitter.”
At the same time, Mr Kennedy said that he didn’t agree with Mr Trump’s words.
“The Constitution can be amended. The Constitution can be interpreted, but the Constitution can't be suspended,” he said.
Also on Truth Social, Mr Trump later tried to claim that he never advocate for the termination of the US Constitution, saying his calls to do so were “disinformation and lies.”
Senator Lindsey Graham also said he understood Mr Trump’s anger but told The Independent his remarks about terminating the Constitution or laws was “very inappropriate.”
“He's frustrated because of the, you know, bias in the media and Democrats controlling Twitter and Russia, joke of investigation,” he said. “But the statement was inappropriate and I'm glad to see him clarify.”
Mr Trump’s remarks come as Republican Senators, including Mr Graham and Mr Kennedy, have been stumping for Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia. Mr Walker faces Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in a runoff election on Tuesday.
Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas told The Independent he hadn’t seen the remarks but thought they were a distraction
“I would say that I just finished 105 town halls, spend a weekend in Kansas and nobody's talking about this we should be talking about the price of gas, the price of groceries, we should be talking about border security.,” he said. “That's what Americans are concerned about the back home, not, not these tweets that are coming out so I'm not going to waste my time on trying to dissect when he said this and how we said that we should be focused on the problems that matter to Americans back home.”
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa also denounced the remarks from Mr Trump swiftly.
“No, that's not ever gonna happen,” she told The Independent . “The Constitution is around to stay and I believe in upholding the Constitution.”
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted to convict Mr Trump for both of his impeachments, told The Independent that Mr Trump’s remarks were antithetical to Republican values.
“The Republican Party is the Constitution Party. So when he calls to suspend the Constitution, he goes from MAGA to RINO,” he told The Independent in reference to the acronym for “Republican in Name Only.”
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said that Mr Trump’s words are an abdication of his oath of office.
“I was standing 10 feet from him when he took the oath of office,” Mr Blunt told The Independent . “I don't think there was an escape clause to not defend the Constitution.”