The world watched, live, as the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building and threatened the lives of legislators. Since then, though Congressional Republicans still publicly display a lot of support for Donald Trump and his voters, there’s been a constant trickle of confessions that GOP members fear danger to their lives, and their families, if they oppose him openly.
Miles Taylor, best known for his op-ed and book written anonymously from inside the Trump Administration, now says that he has been told by a former member of Congress that fear is preventing legislators from standing up to Trump.
A former Member of Congress to me: “Trump has not only made Congressional Republicans fear for their political lives, but for their actual ones. They worry about the safety of their families if they oppose him, even now. That’s how bad it is.”
— Miles Taylor (@MilesTaylorUSA) May 25, 2021
While Taylor doesn’t identify the individual or offer any corroboration, the narrative he’s sharing isn’t exactly new. Forbes reported earlier this month that Liz Cheney had said much the same. Cheney said that “concern about their own security” had motivated some Republicans in their vote to remove her as GOP Chair, and vaguely hinted that this fear was influencing other votes, too
“We now live in a country where members’ votes are affected because they’re worried about their security; they’re worried about threats on their lives.”
Even in January, CNBC was quoting another GOP Representative, Peter Meijer (R-MI), who said that he believed voting to confirm the election put his life at risk, and indicated that others in Congress felt the same.
“So my expectation and the expectation of some folks I’m talking to who are trying to vote our conscience on this, there will be folks that try to kill us, and that’s something we have to grapple with every day.”
While lawmakers have access to more security than most Americans, and it’s notable that fear of violence doesn’t seem to be preventing some Republicans, like Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from speaking up against Donald Trump, a continuing pattern of GOP legislators saying that they fear Trump’s supporters could genuinely be dangerous is quite striking.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com