Former GOP governor calls on fellow Republicans to demand Trump’s resignation
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Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) is calling on her fellow Republicans to demand President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE’s resignation.

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Whitman called Trump’s behavior “indefensible” and said he should rename his “America First” platform “Russia First.”

“My Republican colleagues … have to end their willful ignorance of the damage Trump is doing both domestically and internationally,” she wrote. “We must put aside the GOP label, as hard as that may be, and demonstrate the leadership our country needs by calling on the president to step down.”

Whitman, who also served as former President George W. Bush’s EPA administrator, has been highly critical of Trump’s actions at his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s comments at that press conference have drawn significant backlash from Democrats and Republicans. He refused to confront Putin over Russian interference in the 2016 election and cast doubt on his own intelligence agencies’ conclusions in remarks that Whitman called “deeply disturbing.”

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Trump later walked back some of his comments, claiming he “misspoke” when he said that he did not see any reason why it “would be” Russia who interfered.

“If the president did genuinely misspeak on Monday, it demonstrates his inability to articulate accurately U.S. foreign policy at the highest level, for the highest stakes,” Whitman wrote. “As the leader of the free world — as ridiculous as that title sounds when applied to Trump — his words matter.”

“If he cannot take his place at a podium next to an adversarial foreign leader and stand up for America’s interests and principles, he should not be president,” she added.

Whitman laid out several actions for her fellow Republicans to take, including implementing tougher sanctions against Russia, ensuring the protection of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, which Trump has repeatedly called a “witch hunt,” and standing up to the president.

“Those members of the party in Congress who have stood up to the president should be commended,” she wrote. “More must follow, with more than private talk and tepid tweets.”