Chaffetz was the first congressional Republican to rescind his endorsement after Trump was caught bragging about groping women. But just weeks later, he said he was going to vote for the GOP presidential nominee anyway.
When pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday as to how he was reconciling the apparent contradiction, Chaffetz said, “I do see a difference between an endorsement and publicly defending somebody.”
Blitzer pushed back. “If you tell your supporters in Utah, ‘I am voting for Donald Trump,’ that sounds to me like an endorsement,” he said.
“Well, I think they’re different,” Chaffetz said. “I think the endorsement is far different than who you actually vote for. You know, it’s the one vote I actually do for myself. I don’t represent anybody else. We all get the same vote.”
He later said that he hoped he could keep his vote a secret, but “people wanted to know ... so I said, ‘All right, I’ll tell you who I am going to vote for, and I’m going to vote for Donald Trump.’”
Chaffetz follows a long line of Republicans― including House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.)― who are backing Trump while repeatedly denouncing his racist and sexist remarks.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.