Former member of Trump administration explains why the former president’s GOP influence is fizzling out

Former member of Trump administration explains why the former president’s GOP influence is fizzling out
Former President Donald Trump speaking at a MAGA rally, hosted by Turning Point Action, at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona on July 24, 2021, Gage Skidmore

A former member of the Trump administration is insisting that former President Donald Trump's popularity appears to be tanking despite his efforts to reignite the interest voters had back in 2016.

According to Mediaite, Ryan Zinke, who served as Secretary of the Interior under the Trump administration, recently appeared on CNN where he shared his opinion with network host Laura Coates.

The discussion came as around 20 Republican lawmakers continue to block Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) bid for House speaker. Although Trump has urged lawmakers to back the top-ranking Republican, they have doubled down on their opposition.

READ MORE: His influence has 'diminished': Mitch McConnell offers brutally honest assessment of Trump's political career

In fact, McCarthy opposer Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) even nominated Trump for speakership; a nomination Republicans haven't been as receptive to as they might have been in the past. The former president only received one vote — from Gaetz, himself.

According to Zinke, the lackluster reaction to the nomination and Trump's appeal for lawmakers to support McCarthy suggests his influence over the party is waning.

“Now I was a SEAL,” Zinke said. “I can tell you, I’ve been in many battles in my life. And not every battle is won by a general like George S. Patton. In the House, the speaker is the head. But it’s the body, it’s the members, that pass the bills. It’s the committee chairs.”

Coates interjected, “You were a SEAL, as you say. Let’s talk about a former commander-in-chief, because Donald Trump – who is running for reelection again, he was nominated today as an alternative to, say Kevin McCarthy – he only got one vote in favor of him. I wonder how you judge that and how you view that given his role within your own party.”

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Per MedaIte, Zinke said "Trump 'has influence,' which Coates said was 'waning.'”

“Absolutely,” Zinke agreed. “He’s behind McCarthy, and they ignored him. And in some cases, they called him out. Now, I think that’s absolutely inappropriate.”

While he did acknowledge the decline in Trump's level of popularity, he also reasoned the lone vote from Gaetz was simply a “'castaway” vote and therefore is not “serious.”

“Let’s get serious because the job is serious,” Zinke said. “Being a congressman is a responsibility. It’s an honor, but it’s a responsibility, and you should take that responsibility.”

READ MORE: Republicans turn on Donald Trump amid criminal referrals: 'The entire nation knows who is responsible'

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