As Donald Trump’s third indictment dominated the airwaves on the Sunday morning shows, ABC’s George Stephanopolous asked former Republican National Committee chairman and former Trump chief of staff (for six months) Reince Priebus why more Republican leaders don’t speak out to correct Trump’s claims, and Priebus candidly said it’s all to do with appealing to the base.
In response to being told that the Republican base is unbothered by the latest indictment on “This Week,” Stephanopolous asked Priebus, “Isn’t part of the reason that the Republican base continues to hold onto these views because Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy, like other leaders, instead of calling out what they believe about what happened, reinforce what the base already thinks?”
Priebus replied, “The governor you just interviewed from North Dakota, he didn’t wanna touch it with a 10-foot pole. Why? Because he knows that over half, 60%, 70% of the Republican base believe that the president is under attack.”
Stephanopolous interjected, “Well that’s my exact point, they don’t stand up to the belief.”
To which Priebus quickly shot back, “And they would all lose. The reality is they know the truth about where they’re at. It’s a market-based economy, it’s a market-based political system. We have two worlds that we’re living in. We’re living in one world that thinks President Trump is the worst thing ever and he’s a criminal, and we have another world that thinks that there’s a split system of justice and that President Trump didn’t do anything wrong.”
Trump faces criminal charges that he illegally conspired to overturn his 2020 presidential defeat with false claims that the race was “stolen,” including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
“I talked to state party leaders over the weekend in the early states,” Priebus added. “And I asked them – I didn’t tell them what to think – is this hurting President Trump? What’s the effect? And the response immediately, and this is reasonable people in the party, was ‘No, it’s actually making President Trump even stronger.’”
Watch the video clip below.