Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDemand Justice launches ad campaign backing Biden nominee who drew GOP pushback Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Utah) on Wednesday tore into Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE, reciting a laundry list of issues to explain why he hasn't yet endorsed the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“Hey look, Steve, I get it. You want me to endorse Trump,” Lee said during an interview with NewsMaxTV host Steve Malzberg, when pressed about why he hasn't made the endorsement.


“We can get into that if you want. We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK," he continued, referring to Trump citing a tabloid story that linked Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' Bob Dole: heroic, prickly and effective Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE's father to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who shot President John F. Kennedy.

"We can go through the fact that he’s made statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he’s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. A people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And statements like that make them nervous.”

Lee said he could move past those concerns "if I heard the right things out of him."

"I hope I can get over these concerns. I hope Mr. Trump can help me identify them," he said.

"But don’t sit here and tell me, Steve, that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump."
"I know there is no possibly of that. What I am saying is Donald Trump can still get a vote from a lot of conservatives like me, but I would like some assurances on where he stands," Lee said.
"I would like some assurances that he is going to be a vigorous defender of the U.S. Constitution. That he is not going to be an autocrat. That he is not going to be an authoritarian. That he is not somebody who is going to abuse a document that I have sworn an oath to uphold and protect and defend. I am sorry, sir, but that is not an unreasonable demand."