CNN host reveals the damning evidence that Republicans knew how dangerous Trump was all along

CNN host reveals the damning evidence that Republicans knew how dangerous Trump was all along

During the final days of his presidency, Donald Trump's critics are blaming him for the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 by far-right extremists. But CNN's Brianna Keilar, in a blistering commentary this week, stressed that Trump was appealing to extremists long before January 6 — and she made her point by airing a supercut video devoted to Republicans who called out Trump as dangerous and unhinged in 2016 before they became obsequious Trump sycophants.

The video shows clips of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Fox News pundit Kayleigh McEnany (who went on to became White House press secretary), Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry lambasting Trump in 2016. All of them, Keilar noted, "went on to broadly support or work for Trump's administration — ignoring his nods to extremists, acting like they didn't see his tweets, playing whataboutism with liberals instead of acknowledging the uniquely troubling nature of President Trump. And all of that emboldened him to fulfill the predictions of these Republicans who sounded the alarm on Donald Trump and then pretended, for years, that it wasn't going off."

Keilar went on to say, "Of all the Republican predictions, (Sen.) Marco Rubio's might have been the most prescient of all of them." The CNN anchor showed a 2016 clip of Rubio saying, "There's only one presidential candidate who has violence at their events." But that, Keilar told CNN viewers, was before Rubio "drank the Kool Aid."

On March 15, 2016, Keilar noted, Rubio warned, "If we're going to be the party of fear, we're going to spend some time in the wilderness. If we're the party of fear with a candidate who basically is trying to prey upon people's fears to get them to vote for them, I think we're going to pay a big price in November and beyond. I don't know how all this is going to end. This is uncharted territory."

Keilar added that after Trump won the 2016 election and became president, only one Republican senator, Utah's Mitt Romney, truly "stood up to" him.

"Mitt Romney was the lone Republican who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, and he has been living on an island all by himself, standing up to the president," Keilar explained. "No one visits, not even for a long weekend. Some say they might, like Sen. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Ben Sasse. But they don't really mean it, and they don't."

Keilar continued, "Romney predicted disruption and worse with Trump supporters gathering in Washington, and as senators were being evacuated from the Capitol, he summoned a reporter from the New York Times, and he told him, quote, 'This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection.' The day before the siege on the Capitol, Romney was heckled at the airport as we traveled to Washington to vote to certify Joe Biden's Electoral College win. A lot of Republicans decided they didn't want to live with that, but now, they will have to live with themselves — knowing that before they were sycophants, they were psychics."

Watch the video below.

Keilar: GOP ignored their own warnings about Trump

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.