Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers told the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot that he would vote for Donald Trump again despite testifying that the former president asked him to break the law to overturn the state’s election.
Earlier this week Mr Bowers told the House Select Committee that Mr Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani had called on him to participate in a scheme to replace the state’s electors with electors loyal to the then-president. He refused, telling Mr Trump that doing so would be illegal and unconstitutional.
Mr Bowers said he received more than 20,000 emails from MAGA conservatives harassing him for his refusal to go along with the scheme.
He went on to call Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election “juvenile” but, when pressed on who he would vote for in 2024 if Mr Trump was running, he said he’d once again vote for the Republican.
“If he is the nominee, if he was up against [Joe] Biden, I’d vote for him again,” Mr Bowers told the Associated Press. “Simply because what he did the first time, before Covid, was so good for the country. In my view it was great.”
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough lashed out at Mr Bowers over the comments.
Mr Scarborough discussed Mr Bowers’ testimony and decried extreme partisanship and its effects on the country.
“I will say the negative partisanship, especially on the side of Republicans, really is a cancer,” Mr Scarborough said. “All they do, they run around chirping, all my friends run around chirping, ‘But what about Nancy Pelosi?’ ‘Joe Biden is president, but he’s not running it, Kamala Harris is running it.’ It’s all negative partisanship.”
He expressed shock that Mr Bowers could in one breath condemn Mr Trump for trying to steal the 2020 election and then turn around and say he would vote for him again regardless.
“Can you really justify somebody that you believe is not only trying to undermine the Constitution of the United States of America but also attacking the very essence, in his words, of God’s work on Earth,” the host said.
“How do you go from that to saying, ‘Yeah, you know, true, he’s undermining my savior’s work on Earth but, you know, the quantitative easing on the left is troubling. I don’t know how you square it up. This guy knows, by the way. This guy knows that the lies that Republican Party spreading about [critical race theory], the lies about how they’re trying to make every 4-year-old, you know, consider being transgender. This guy knows those are all lies.”
Mr Scarborough said the willingness of Republicans to continue supporting Mr Trump in light of the 2020 election and the Capitol riot “speaks to the moral rot” in the party.
“That my conservative movement, my political party, my church has allowed this false idol, this false prophet to come in and just bleat all the things they want to hear,” he said.