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GOP rep says voters willing to overlook Trump's past

Republican Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGeorgia elections chief refutes election claims in letter to Congress READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Pence 'welcomes' efforts of lawmakers to 'raise objections' to Electoral College results MORE (Ga.) told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE's supporters are willing to overlook his past when voting for him, focusing instead on his policy goals and achievements. 

"I think those are issues that a lot of people had, and it is what it is," Hice told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball when asked about reactions to Trump's infamous "Access Hollywood" tape and reported payments made to two women who say they had affairs with the president. 

"I think what the people love about this president is that he's doing what he said he would do, and because of that, I think a lot of people are willing to overlook some of the moral issues that have been around this president." 

The president's former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, telling the panel that Trump was aware of the scheme to pay adult-film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with the New York real estate mogul. 

"He's building the wall. He's defending our country. He's standing up for the rights and the principals that he said he would do," Hice said. "I think that is a strong motivation for the citizens who elected him."

When pressed by Ball on whether moral character matters for those in elected office, Hice said that it "absolutely" matters for officials. 

"It always matters, there's no question about that," he said. "Morality matters. Character matters. Yes, I firmly believe that." 

— Julia Manchester