Rep. Justin Amash, just days after he announced his departure from the Republican Party, said Sunday he would have left even if Donald Trump weren’t the president but insisted that this term in Congress was what “really broke it for me.”
“Over the years, I’ve seen that people are just falling in line behind the leaders, including people in my own caucus, which I left,” the five-term Michigan lawmaker told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So it has gotten worse and worse and I think this was the term that really broke it for me.”
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Amash said he has been bothered by the way Trump expects Republicans to be first and foremost loyal to him, not the party itself.
Amash was the first and only national Republican to call for Trump’s impeachment following the release of the redacted Mueller report. On Fourth of July, before Trump’s rally in Washington, Amash announced he was declaring his own independence in an Op-Ed published in the Washington Post, where he called for others to follow him in departing the party.
The newly minted independent from Michigan said he has had concerns with the Republican Party for several years and thought he “could change things from the inside” as a congressman.
“I don’t think a lot of the partisan discord and the rest started with President Trump,” he said. “It has been going on for years and gotten worse in recent years, but he’s helping to fuel it and making it worse and making it more difficult for people to be independent in Congress.”