MSNBC’s Rick Wilson framed his opposition to President Donald Trump as a financially damaging consequence of his adherence to conservative principles, offering his self-assessment during a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Politics Inside Out with host Chris Frates.
Wilson characterized himself as a standard-bearer of American conservatism offering critiques of Trump “from the right.”
Wilson said, “As one of the last men standing in the Republican Party who believes that Donald Trump is a disaster for my party, the conservative movement, and for the country, I felt like it was important that at least somebody put it down on paper, a case against him from the right, and a set of arguments from the right… [Trump] is an existential threat in the future and in the moment, and I wanted to be an honest person who came out and said, ‘I’m not going to swallow the pill. I’m not going to say that it’s raining when it’s not. I’m not going to say the world is perfect when it’s Donald Trump at the helm.’ I was going to be somebody who stuck with a set of principles that reflect the party I grew up in.”
Wilson said his alignment with the Never Trump commentariat amounted to a personal and financial sacrifice borne of political principles.
“[My opposition to Donald Trump] has detonated [my political business] to a large degree,” said Wilson. “I made a choice that cost me, as I like to say, a lot of zeroes, and it is a difficult choice. It was not easy. Fortunately, I was in this business for a long time. I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot in some ways, but when Donald Trump’s White House political office calls a client of yours who you’ve had for fifteen years and says, ‘If you hire him, the president will tweet against you,’ it hits them pretty hard. I’ve had to live with that.”
Wilson described Republican representatives and senators as to obsequious to Trump, with GOP politicians fearing the president’s Twitter criticisms. “When Trump tweets about you to his 50 million Twitter followers, unleashes a political and social media hell,” he said. “It turns your life completely upside down, and it causes a climate of intimidation and frank outright fear and terror.”
“[Republicans supporting Trump] will be judged by history,” he warned, adding that GOP politicians supporting the president should face “blame for racial division” across America.
Wilson accused Trump’s base of supporting death threats against the president’s critics: “A climate of intimidation and thug and mob rule is very appealing, I think, to a lot of Trump supporters [and] voters. They love the fact that anyone on the right is always intimidated to speak out and speak honestly [against Trump].”
Wilson also framed Trump’s supporters as animated by racial politics with hostility to “brown people.”
Wilson characterized Trump’s proposed southern border wall as “a way of making racial animus acceptable,” adding an allegation that “[Donald Trump] only goes after African-American athletes.”
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