The Slatest

Four Republicans Who Denounced Trump Over The Weekend Decide That They’re Still Voting for Him

Republican senator John Thune (South Dakota) had been the first member of the Senate Republican leadership to denounce Trump.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Four Republican politicians who shunned Donald Trump over the weekend for his comments in a conversation taped in 2005 with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush hurried to clarify Tuesday that they are still supporting his candidacy.

Sens. Deb Fischer (Nebraska) and John Thune (South Dakota) along with Reps. Bradley Byrne (Alabama) and Scott Garrett (New Jersey) all spoke out against the Republican nominee and called for VP nominee Mike Pence to lead the ticket after leaked Access Hollywood footage revealed Trump saying, “when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy.”

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Thune, the first member of the Senate Republican leadership to denounce Trump, similarly tweeted that Pence should become the nominee “effective immediately.”

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But when Trump vowed to never withdraw, these courageous souls backtracked and reaffirmed their support for Trump. Speaking on KLIN radio in Nebraska on Tuesday, Fischer said, “I put out a statement … with regard to Mr. Trump’s comments. I felt they were disgusting. I felt they were unacceptable and I never said I was not voting for our Republican ticket.”

And Thune told local reporters that although he stands by his preference for Pence as the nominee, he will support the Republican Party regardless.

“I intend to support the nominee of our party and if anything should change then I’ll let you know, but he’s got a lot of work to do I think if he’s going to have any hope of winning this election,” Thune said.

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Byrne and Garrett also hopped on the backtracking bandwagon. Employing the Daughter Clause, Garrett released this press statement on Saturday: “Donald Trump’s comments are inexcusable. I am appalled that he would brag about violating a woman’s physical boundaries. As a husband and father of two daughters, I denounce his comments and the behavior that it incites. I believe that Mike Pence would be the best nominee for the Republican Party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Byrne stated Saturday, “There are absolutely no circumstances under which it would ever be appropriate to speak of women in such a way. It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket.”

Campaign spokespeople for both Byrne and Garrett clarified on Tuesday that the Republicans would support the Trump ticket.

On the other hand, now over 50 national lawmakers and governors have rescinded their support for Trump—and kept it rescinded.

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