A former Republican lawmaker who is challenging the president in an unlikely primary campaign to oust him as his party’s nominee has said he’s unsure whether he’d vote for President Trump in his bid for re-election, The Hill reported Sunday.
Mark Sanford, a former Republican member of Congress from South Carolina, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday that he wasn’t sure whether he would vote for Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden if that’s the choice he’s given at the polls next year. Sanford told Tapper that he was an “issue guy.”
As The Inquisitr reported earlier Sunday, a second whistleblower has reportedly come forward in the latest development in the debacle that has monopolized the news cycle for the past two weeks. The president stands accused of asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a July phone call for a favor that involved the investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and a conspiracy into the 2016 election.
Following news of a first whistleblower, the White House in late September released a partial, summarized transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president. The transcripts showed the two leaders discussing the various assistance the U.S. has provided Ukraine, the president asking for a favor, and the president mentioning the Biden and 2016 conspiracies.
Since the first whistleblower came forward, the president has offered various explanations for the behavior. Most recently, the president took to Twitter Saturday to dismiss the accusations against him by falsely claiming that his 2016 rival, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, used acid to erase emails. The long-debunked conspiracy theory has been repeated by the president since his first campaign for the Oval Office.
The president has admitted to asking Ukraine for the information on Biden, and has since even publicly called on the country to investigate his political rival. The president also called on China to investigate Biden in the same exchange with reporters last week. The president has claimed that it is his “duty” as president to invite foreign governments to investigate alleged U.S. corruption.
2020 GOP presidential candidates:@WalshFreedom: “This President deserves to be impeached."@marksanford: “… I, respectfully, disagree… the nature of a process is not to come to a conclusion at the beginning of it." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/MAYjlgLwpB
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 6, 2019
Sanford’s primary challenge and refusal to say whether he’d support the sitting president comes amid an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month.
Sanford isn’t alone among Republicans in their attempt to challenge the president in the primary. Former Illinois Congressman, Joe Walsh, has also launched a primary campaign against Trump. Per The Hill, Walsh has been more vocal than Sanford in rebuking the president. Walsh, who has previously been a defender of the president, has said he will not vote for the “Keep America Great” candidate in 2020.
Walsh has also said he believes the president should be impeached following reports of the conversation he had with the Ukrainian president, while Sanford has taken a more moderate approach, saying that Congress needs to follow a formal impeachment process and that conclusions shouldn’t be drawn beforehand.
Sanford announced his primary challenge to Trump last month. He served in Congress from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2013 to 2019. Sanford also served as the governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011.