Former President Donald Trump seemed to have a smooth relationship with other GOP leaders in the aftermath of the Capital Hill insurrection.
However, as the days go by, now it is getting clear that Trump faced a significant backlash from within the Republican party.
Why Republicans Wanted to Distance Themselves from Trump
Trump, an ultra-rich billionaire, was a cult who was never a career politician. This means that he had his life sorted outside politics, and even not another term in the presidency would not destroy his career.
Contrary to this, Republican Congressmembers and Senators were mostly career politicians who could not survive without their party. Thus Trump tried to inflict damage to the party itself, which was rebutted by those who had be relevant in politics even without Trump.
Top lawmakers from both the House and senate chided Trump after the deadly episode. Included in these lawmakers were Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell. Both of these top members of Republicans told their audiences that Trump was the major reason behind the insurrection, and they wanted him to steer away from the party.
McCarthy even wanted Trump to resign immediately, as he told a group of Republican leaders,
“I’ve had it with this guy.”
While mocking Trump, McConnell said,
“I didn’t get to be leader by voting with five people in the conference.”
This was the last chance left for the Republican party to reclaim the reins of their party and throw the actual insurrectionist out of the party.
The shocking revelations are part of the new book against Trump named “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future,” which mentioned hundreds of interviews with American lawmakers and officials.
In actuality, McCarthy seemed to be the right-hand man for Trump. He long sought to be the House speaker, for which he wanted the support of Trump and would still need it if the GOP clinches the House in the midterm elections.
Republican Leaders Ended up Compromising
But the reprisal against Trump is part of the McCarthy personality, which he fed to get rid of Trump once and for all. On the top, McCarthy continued backing Trump and even after the January 6 attacks, he criticized the former president lightly by refusing to issue a lengthy rebuttal. However, he continued wanting the ousting of Donald Trump behind the scene.
While on a phone call with Republican leaders, McCarthy said that the attitude of Trump on January 6 was “atrocious and totally wrong.”
He accused the president of “inciting people” to violence as well. McCarthy, who often backed Trump regarding his election fraud claims, inquired about the mechanism to invoke the 25th amendment of the US constitution, which suggests that the vice president and members of the cabinet can remove the president from the top office. But in the end, he found out that this may not turn out to be the feasible option.
Some members of Trump’s cabinet resigned after the attack, and moderate Republican governors started calling for his resignation.
“What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it.”
But their will to save the Republican party faded away in the following months as they saw the increasing clout of the former president within the party. Afraid of their political career, they started to keep silence about Trump’s affairs. Even though McConnell was considered the biggest critic of Trump, he still stated that he would support Trump if he was selected as a Republican nominee for the 2024 race.
McCarthy was also closely following the impeachment proceedings of Trump, and he thought that the resolution would pass and Trump should have left the office.
Perhaps McCarthy was the most obedient member of Trump’s caucus before the January 6 incident. It was the deadly insurrection that left him clueless as he started seeking loyalty to the party instead of one person.