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Republicans condemn Trump after controversial remark about the Constitution: 'He’s become a toxic force'

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Emily Elconin/Getty Images

Senate Republicans fed up with former President Donald Trump are increasingly airing their grievances publicly.

What is the background?

Over the weekend, Trump was accused of calling for the termination of the U.S. Constitution after demanding the results of the 2020 presidential election be thrown out.

"Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution," Trump said on Saturday. "Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!"

What are Republicans saying?

Trump was already under a microscope in Republican circles after Trump-endorsed personalities either lost or narrowly won contests in the 2022 midterm elections, compared to moderate Republicans who won easily.

If three consecutive losing elections were not enough, Republicans further distanced themselves from Trump after his controversial dinner with rapper Kanye West. Now, dismissing the Constitution has Republicans directly speaking out against Trump and his 2024 ambitions.

"I’m at a loss for words. We need to move on," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico, explaining that Trump's 2024 prospects are "increasingly less likely, given statements like that."

"The facts of the election in 2022 are just indisputable. The ultra, pro-Trump, handpicked by Trump, based on loyalty to Trump? Those candidates wildly underperformed," explained Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). "It’s pretty clear that he’s become a toxic force and that’s going to diminish his influence a lot."

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who, like Toomey, is retiring from politics, said, "People in my party have to decide: Do they want to keep giving oxygen to somebody who is trying to sell tickets to his own proprietary circus, or do they want to be a constitutional party that has a clear agenda."

"Well, I think you take an oath to the Constitution, you don’t take it provisionally," Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said, NBC News reported. "And I can’t imagine that a former president would make that statement."

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, meanwhile, said on Tuesday, "I completely disagree with his comment."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, moreover, suggested that Trump's comments are prima facie disqualifying for the presidency.

"Let me just say, anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of the United States," McConnell said.

How did Trump respond?

The former president defended himself from accusations that he called for the termination of the Constitution.

"The Fake News is actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to 'terminate' the Constitution. This is simply more DISINFORMATION & LIES," Trump claimed Monday.

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