A former Republican member of Congress has fiercely criticized what his old party has become under President Donald Trump, calling it one “without conviction” over its members’ willingness to push disinformation spread by Russia’s security services that it was Ukraine and not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election.
“Republican senators, Republican members of Congress tonight are being used by Russia because they are unwilling to look at the truth,” former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) said on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.”
Jolly explained how, during his time on the Hill in the ’90s before he became a lawmaker, he had argued for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton “because I believed in a certain law and order principle that a president shouldn’t engage in perjury or obstruction of justice and I thought I belonged to a party that agreed with that.”
He had also later argued against former President Barack Obama’s executive order on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because “I thought I belonged to a party that opposed that on constitutional grounds.”
But “in retrospect, what I’ve learned these last three years is it wasn’t a law and order party, just a party that hated Bill Clinton,” said Jolly, who served in the House from 2014 to 2017 and announced his resignation from the GOP in October 2018.
“It wasn’t a constitutional party when Barack Obama was in office,” he added. “It was just a party that hated Barack Obama.”
Jolly said “what we’re seeing now is a party that is embracing Donald Trump because they have a quest for power, proximity for power and they want within their reach the ability to self-deal. This is a party today without conviction and they are willing to be used by Russians.”
“We put our trust in our elected leaders,” he concluded. “The Republican Party today through its leadership has abandoned truth and has failed the American people and frankly failed themselves and one day they will recognize that and regret it.”