Rep. Justin Amash Says Some Republicans Privately Praised His Decision To Quit Party

The now-independent congressman is still not ruling out a 2020 presidential run.

In his first interview since announcing his departure from the GOP, Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) said he was contacted by Republicans who privately supported his decision.

“I get people sending me text messages, people calling me saying, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing, great op-ed,’” Amash told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

In a Washington Post editorial published on the Fourth of July, the congressman announced he was jumping ship, writing, “Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral.

Disillusioned by hyperpartisanship, Amash lamented what he called “the consolidation of political power and the near disintegration of representative democracy.”

Amash told Tapper that the response from Republicans wasn’t the only time they showed opposition to the administration, stating that he also received support when floating the idea of ousting President Donald Trump from office.

“When I was discussing impeachment, I had fellow colleagues and other Republicans, high-level officials, contacting me saying, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing,’” he said.

The problem, Amash contended, is that Trump’s GOP critics are too scared to stand against the president.

“There are lots of Republicans out there who are saying these things privately, but they’re not saying it publicly, and I think that’s a problem for our country, it’s a problem for the Republican Party, it’s a problem for the Democratic Party when people aren’t allowed to speak out,” he said.

In response to Amash’s op-ed, Trump lashed out at the lawmaker on Twitter, mocking him as “one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress.”

Amash told Tapper the remark only further illustrated the point of his op-ed, dismissing Trump’s apparent expectation of loyalty from Republican officials.

“People are elected to Congress with an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an oath to support and defend one person, the president, who happens to be from your own party,” he said.

Though Amash is planning to run for reelection in Congress, he suggested to Tapper that he may consider a 2020 bid against Trump.

“I still wouldn’t rule anything like that out,” he said. “I believe that I have to use my skills, my public influence, where it serves the country best.”