Donald Trump said every Republican who voted to impeach or convict him should be drummed out of office.
Donald Trump on Sunday called for the ouster of any Republican member of Congress who voted to impeach or convict him for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, confirming that he wants to see a civil war play out in the GOP.
Trump issued the comments during a lie- and hate-filled speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference — his first public event since leaving office on Jan. 20.
"Get rid of them all," Trump said, after naming each of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict him, and the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him.
Trump's comments come as congressional Republican leaders have attempted to downplay any fears of turmoil within the party.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) — who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which seeks to elect Republicans to the Senate — said just last week that "The Republican Civil War is now canceled." That comment doesn't appear true, as Trump — who still wields considerable control over the GOP, according to multiple polls — is itching for an internal fight.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been forced to walk a tightrope of supporting both Trump and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — the latter of which survived an attempt from fellow House Republicans to remove her from her leadership role over her vote to impeach Trump.
A GOP civil war could imperil the Republican Party's chances at winning back the House and Senate.
One of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump for inciting the deadly attack at the Capitol is up for reelection in 2022: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
And two of the other seven — Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — are retiring. However, if a primary battle plays out over which GOP hopeful is more supportive of Trump, it could hamper the party's chances of holding on to the seat in a state like Pennsylvania, which Trump barely carried in 2016 and lost in 2020.
"Trump's shadow looms over the races," Inside Elections' Nathan Gonzales wrote in an analysis published in Roll Call of the 2022 Senate battlefield. "His dedication to punishing GOP senators who didn’t sufficiently support him could result in some costly primaries. And if the president’s crusade against 'weak' Republicans causes some of his supporters to shun GOP candidates in the general election, it could create takeover opportunities for Democrats that don’t exist under normal partisan conditions."
As for the House, two of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump represent districts President Joe Biden carried. They are Reps. David Valadao of California and John Katko of New York.
If more Trump-supporting Republicans oust those members in a primary, it could imperil the GOP's chances of winning those seats in the midterm elections and imperil the party's hopes of taking back control of the House.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.