On paper, Donald Trump’s polling numbers could not be more brutal. His average approval rating, as measured by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 42 percent. But even that figure appears inflated. According to a recent Gallup poll, a whopping 87 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance, versus only 36 percent of independents and nine percent of Democrats. You can probably be pardoned for wondering if Republicans have had a little too much tea or covfefe–or some combination of the two.
But a very prominent tea partier has fallen out of love with Trump–and isn’t afraid to hide it. That would be former congressman-turned-radio host Joe Walsh.
When most political junkies think of Walsh, they remember how he essentially backed into a suburban Chicago seat in 2010 only because of the presence of a Green Party candidate. Despite this, he was one of the loudest members of that year’s tea-infused GOP freshman class. He had his head handed to him by now-Senator Tammy Duckworth in 2012, but parlayed that into a career as a conservative talk show host.
Walsh initially backed Rand Paul before voting for Trump, believing the nation needed a president who was a “disrupter-in-chief.” He went as far as to say that he had his musket ready in case Hillary Clinton won. But he is one of the few Trump supporters who acknowledges the overwhelming evidence that Russia hacked the election. In a December 2016 appearance on CNN, for instance, he blasted his fellow Republicans for not being willing to acknowledge that the Kremlin was up to no good. Watch here.
Walsh has also loudly supported Robert Mueller’s investigation–one of the few unabashed conservatives to do so who wasn’t a never-Trumper.
So it should come as no surprise when he recognized Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents for their role in the hacking for what it was–the strongest evidence yet that Russia did indeed hack the election.
Walsh then fired off a clear warning to Trump.
Remember, folks–this isn’t coming from a liberal blogger. This isn’t coming from a Republican never-Trumper. This is coming from a simon-pure tea partier–one who tallied a rating of 92 from the American Conservative Union during his single term.
By Saturday morning, it was obvious that Trump was not willing to condemn Putin or Russia. That didn’t sit well with Walsh at all.
Wow. Pretty strong words, especially from a Republican. Remember, 87 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance. What is more, it seems a significant element of the GOP has adopted an 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of Donald Trump.”
Contrast this with several of Walsh’s ideological brethren in Congress led by Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who are greasing the wheels to impeach Mueller’s nominal supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. This development didn’t sit well with Walsh either.
Later on Saturday, Walsh revealed why we should all be hopping mad at the growing evidence of Russian funny business two years ago.
This is the ONLY response that should come from any elected official or White House staffer on Russia. We should not be reacting to this attack on the very foundation of our democracy as Democrats or Republicans, or as liberals and conservatives. We should be reacting as Americans.
Walsh openly admitted that he knew who he was voting for when he voted for Trump. But with this weekend’s tweets, it’s clear that he now knows who Trump really is–and doesn’t like it.
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