The day after a violent mob ransacked the Capitol building Republican senators say they feel a sense of growing regret over not standing up to President Trump sooner.
Many Republicans are shell-shocked over the horrific scenes at the Capitol and seem to be trying to come to grips with their role in the disaster.
One Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss his conversations with GOP colleagues acknowledged GOP lawmakers should have served as a stronger check on the president over the past four years.
“We should have done more to push back, both against his rhetoric and some of the things he did legislatively,” said the lawmaker.
The GOP senator said he and his colleagues expected Trump would eventually accept the results of the election after courts ruled against his legal team’s challenges, which were resoundingly dismissed by Republican- and Democratic-appointed judges alike. But Trump never did.
Most Republicans held back any sharp criticism. “The Republican leadership explained repeatedly that we’d need Trump to help get votes out,” said the lawmaker, who added that colleagues worried the president would find a way to sabotage them in Georgia runoff races if they quickly acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect or forcefully dismissed claims of widespread voter fraud.
“There’s more concern about the long-term damage to the party than losing two Senate seats in Georgia,” the GOP senator said.
A second Republican senator who requested anonymity said Trump had inflicted serious damage on his party.
Maybe reports like this shook them up