Donald Trump “doesn’t care” about the GOP’s future and will only look out for himself and his family, a former aide to ex-Vice President Mike Pence has said.
Olivia Troye, who served as Pence’s homeland security advisor, said she was baffled to see some Republican figures still “pandering” to Trump after his treatment of Pence in the final days of their time at the White House.
Trump turned on Pence after the formerly loyal deputy reportedly refused to help his bid to overturn the presidential election results.
Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday, Troye was asked whether Republicans would stand by Pence if he criticized the former president. She told host Alex Witt that there was “no moment like today to take that stand.”
“If you’re going to breakaway from Trumpism finally and move away and allow others the opportunity to perhaps come forward with you and provide them and empower them and have their back—this would be the moment,” she said.
“I hope that perhaps somewhere in Mike Pence’s head that he’s weighing this, but there’s also a careful calculus for him. His life has already been threatened, his credibility, by Trump, has completely been undermined and destroyed even after his unwavering loyalty for years.”
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy visited Trump—who remains the party leader—at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago headquarters in Florida last week.
They were reportedly discussing the future of the GOP, only a fortnight after McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6.
Trump has been impeached for allegedly inciting the mob and faces a Senate trial expected to begin early next month, when the former president will be hoping to find support from Republican lawmakers.
The then-president addressed a crowd outside the Capitol, shortly before some of the crowd stormed the building as lawmakers tried to confirm the Electoral College votes that confirmed Biden’s election victory and Trump’s defeat.
Some of the crowd had been heard chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” a phrase which Twitter blocked from trending. As Pence took refuge from the riots, which left five dead, Trump criticized him on social media.
“This is why it’s so baffling to me to watch these republicans pandering, fly down to Mar-a-Lago and be so loyal to Trump because he turns on you,” Troye added.
“He’s not loyal back, look at what he did to Mike Pence. It’s just fascinating to watch these republicans and the Republican Party continue to clamour around him when he clearly doesn’t care about them.”
The Washington Post has linked Trump with forming a new political party. The newspaper said Trump had told people in his orbit that the threat of such a party would put pressure on Republicans when they vote in his Senate impeachment trial.
“[Trump] doesn’t care about the future of the party,” Troye said. “He’s in it for his family, he’s in it for his personal gain. He always has been.”
This is not the first time Troye has spoken out against Trump in recent weeks.
In late December, she revealed her concern “that there will be violence on January 6th because the President himself is encouraging it”.
Last week, the former lead staffer on the White House coronavirus taskforce suggested that she was told to spy on the group’s then-coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.
“She was coming into a no-win situation and even more so than I think she even realized. And I was told that I was to watch her. That she was not to be trusted because she was a Matt Pottinger hire, she told MSNBC.