Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) wants Donald Trump to step down from the Republican presidential ticket, calling him a “distraction” from the conservative principles of the Republican party.
“Mr. Trump, I respectfully ask you, with all due respect to step aside. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles,” Lee said.
Lee published a video on Facebook of his reaction to Trump after the Republican nominee apologized Friday evening for using degrading rhetoric about women in a conversation ten years ago with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. The Washington Post published leaked audio of the conversation on Friday.
“I wouldn’t hire that person, wouldn’t want to be associated with that person and I certainly don’t think I’d feel conformable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world,” Lee said, pointing out that Republicans had been repeatedly asked to “settle” with Donald Trump.
Lee, a frequent Trump critic, never endorsed him as the Republican nominee, but hadn’t entirely denounced the Republican candidate. But in his video last night, Lee’s frustration was clear.
“This can’t continue, it’s time for us not to settle, it’s time to expect more,” Lee said.
He appeared angry by Trump’s definition of the leaked comments as a distraction.
“With all due respect sir, you sir are the distraction, your conduct, sir, is the distraction, it’s the distraction from the very principles that will help us win in November,” he said.
Lee called for a Republican candidate that reflected Republican principles, demanding a better candidate to lead them to defeat Hillary Clinton.
“There will be time to figure out the who,” said Lee. “Right now we’ve got to be focused on the what. And that what has to involve our greatest, our most noble principles.”