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2 Ex-Trump Staffers Ask: Will GOP Voters Embrace Patriotism Or Continue To Put Trump Above All Else?

I'm Afraid We All Know The Answer



Yesterday, 2 former staffers from the Trump Administration, Stephanie Grisham, who worked as White House press secretary and director of communications, and Gavin Smith who worked in communications for the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services, penned an OpEd calling on their colleagues to dump Trump and put America first. “Albeit on different timelines,” they wrote, “both of us came to realize that, for our then-President, holding the most powerful office in the world was less about putting America first and more about putting Donald Trump first.” They noted that the successes that came during Trump’s term “came despite Trump's obsession with himself and because of many dedicated public servants who worked within his administration.”


They wrote that “Long before Trump's latest legal woes, we signed on to his 2016 presidential campaign. We bought into his ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda. And yes, we joined in his criticism of his opponent in the presidential race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, over her alleged mishandling of classified information. In our campaign work, we crisscrossed the nation with the unlikely candidate-turned-Republican presidential nominee and listened time and again as he lamented the so-called ‘Deep State,’ campaigned on the GOP being the party of law and order and pledged to put America first. Following his defeat of Clinton, we joined the Trump administration.”


From erratic behavior that led hundreds of ex-national security officials to support the first impeachment inquiry to flagrant inaction on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump had an unwavering commitment to himself above all else.
It is because of our familiarity with his Trump-first mindset, his chaotic behavior and promotion of blatant misinformation— all of which threaten our country's national security— that we continue to speak out against our former boss, especially now as Americans prepare to cast their votes in midterm elections in a few months.
As two people now far removed from the cult-like atmosphere of Trump world, we find ourselves watching as its vitriol, extreme rhetoric and blatant lies continue to tear the country apart. Many in the Republican Party, as well as former colleagues who served in his administration, continue to embrace Trumpism, emboldening the former President as he wreaks havoc on our public institutions.
-by Chip Proser
Whether supporting baseless conspiracy theories about stolen elections, falsely reducing the Jan. 6 insurrection to a peaceful protest or asserting that the FBI planted evidence during its search of Mar-a-Lago, this movement is steering our party in the direction of dissolution and violent extremism. It is doing the opposite of what we joined Trump's campaign and his administration to do— serve our country.
As the midterm elections approach and we begin to stare down the 2024 presidential race, our party finds itself at a crossroads. Our GOP friends and former colleagues must choose: Are we truly the party of law and order and of putting our country first? Or will our party be reduced to being yet another Trump property?
In 2018, the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a "senior official" within the Trump administration. The op-ed, later revealed to be authored by Department of Homeland Security deputy chief of staff Miles Taylor, pleaded with Americans to rally behind the country and not the juvenile whims of one man.
Unfortunately, today, we find ourselves in an even more dire situation. The irrational behavior of one man has given way to a rise in extremist rhetoric and has led to lives being put in danger. The question must be asked: Will the Republican Party and our former colleagues do what's best for America and embrace patriotism, or will Trump continue to be put above all else?
The answer to that question may affect generations to come. We have a simple message for our former colleagues and fellow Republicans: This is your moment to put America first and do your part to end this dark time in our country's history.
We are pleading with you to join us in speaking out against our former boss— regardless of how long it's taken us or anyone else to do so— because it's never the wrong time to do what's right.
Whether it be through supporting solid candidates whose campaigns are based on fundamental Republican values— not far-fetched and baseless conspiracy theories— or by using your voice to share the truth in moments when Trump and his allies spread lies, we all have a role to play in restoring principles to the Grand Ole' Party.
We are the people who helped lead Trump to victory in 2016, and it is now our responsibility to do the right thing and put the party on a course correction before the GOP finds itself beyond repair.
By rallying together behind facts and not fiction, behind evidence and not emotion, and behind our country rather than one man, we can "Make America Great Again."
The reality is the Republican Party's bench is deep, and the party is still capable of making good policy. But we must first save our country— and we plead with our former colleagues and fellow Republicans to join us before it's too late.

And it isn’t just Trump. Die-hard enablers, like Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Traitor Greene, have to be stopped as well. Liz Cheney laid out the case against McCarthy during an interview with Jonathan Karl for This Week today. Asked if the country would be better or worse off if McCarthy was the next House Speaker, she said her “views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear. [The] Speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation. And he’s been completely unfaithful to the Constitution and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and the importance of the role of Speaker, so I don’t believe he should be Speaker of the House. And I think that’s been very clear.”

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