According to Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins, many Republican officials don’t want Donald Trump around, but they’re also too terrified to openly oppose him.
“They all wanted him gone, but nobody wanted to confront him directly,” Coppins said Monday on CNN. “There is just this fear that if they go after him or if they try to rally around somebody else they’ll spark a backlash from his base.”
He clarified that party insiders are praying for something to happen to remove Trump from the scene, such as an indictment, on CNN and in his most recent article on The Atlantic.
But among those undeclared Republicans who oppose Trump, there’s also another hidden hope.
“You have a lot of folks who are just wishing for [Trump’s] mortal demise,” former Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) told Coppins, according to his report in The Atlantic. “I want to be clear: I’m not in that camp. But I’ve heard from a lot of people who will go onstage and put on the red hat, and then give me a call the next day and say, ‘I can’t wait until this guy dies.’”
When asked about it on CNN, Coppins responded that he has heard that opinion before.
“I was taken aback by how often I heard this,” he said. “I thought it was kind of a morbid, dark joke at first. But I heard it so often that it started to become clear that this was actually what a lot of Republicans believe and it just speaks to the desperation in the party.”
Some Republicans are holding onto the hope that Trump’s legal issues will eventually bring him down. His critics hope for an indictment that would end his campaign because he is currently the focus of several criminal investigations. However, the majority appear resigned to the possibility that an indictment would only help him among the party’s base. Michael Cohen, who for many years worked as Trump’s personal lawyer and now presents the Mea Culpa podcast to atone for that transgression, reluctantly admitted to Coppins that his former client would simply weaponize any accusations of criminal activity. The campaign emails for the deep-state Democrats compose themselves. Cohen has stated that Donald “will use the indictment to continue his fundraising grift.”
The recently retired Ohio senator, Rob Portman, was asked by the reporter about his party’s Trump issue and confidently stated that all will be resolved soon. He thought the former president would look at the polling numbers, see that other Republicans stood a greater chance of victory, and respectfully withdraw from the 2024 race.
“I think at the end of the day,” Portman told me, “he’s unlikely to want to put himself in that position when he could be more of a Republican senior statesman who talks about the policies that were enacted in his administration.”