Maryland gov says he's not interested in 'kamikaze mission' to defeat Trump

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Thursday that he was uninterested in a "kamikaze mission" to challenge President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE for the 2020 Republican nomination.

“My goal is not to just make the incumbent president lose in the general election. I’m not going to do that,” Hogan said in an interview with the Associated Press. “If they’re looking for someone just to be a spoiler or to throw myself on a grenade to help someone else, that’s not me. Somebody else might be motivated that way. But I’ve got a state to run.”


Hogan has been floated as a potential 2020 presidential candidate and has refused to rule a run out.

The Maryland governor told AP that the reported upcoming release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's report on the Trump campaign and Russia might push him into running.

“I don’t have the inside scoop on what it’s going to say,” Hogan said. “But if there was damaging information, if ... some serious charges come out or it becomes worse than it is today, and he took a hit in the polls, then I think all bets are off.”

Pressed on a timeline for a potential challenge if Trump’s situation changes, Hogan said “most successful launches are late summer or in the fall.”

One of the most popular governors in the country, Hogan has been outspoken critic of Trump.

Other past or present Republican governors have also considered challenging Trump.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R) announced Friday he was launching an exploratory committee for a potential run.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is also considering a run after falling short in 2016.

The path to the nomination for anyone thinking about challenging Trump would be slim.

At the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in New Mexico last month, committee members voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring the party’s “undivided support for President Donald J. Trump and his effective Presidency.”