Sanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office'

Sanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office'
© Greg Nash

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark SanfordMark SanfordLive updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night On The Money: Business world braces for blue sweep | Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy | Meadows 'not optimistic' about stalemate on coronavirus deal MORE (R) emphasized on Wednesday that it "carries real weight" for Republicans to speak out against President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE while in office, citing the recent exits of a number of notable Republican lawmakers. 

"For a while he [Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDespite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill GOP urges Trump not to tank defense bill over tech fight Republican frustration builds over Cabinet picks MORE (R-S.C.)] was vociferous against the president. He has now done backflips in the opposite direction based on — being fairly transparent, saying this is the cost of admission, I want to stay in the game," Sanford told The Hill's Julia Manchester on "NH Today with Jack Heath." 

"A lot of people look at the fact that [former Sen. Bob] Corker [R-Tenn.] and [Former Sen. Jeff] Flake [R-Ariz.] are gone, they look at that I'm gone. If you speak up against this president while in office, it carries real weight," he continued. 


Sanford, who ended his longshot 2020 bid to unseat Trump on Tuesday, was referring to how Senate Republicans would handle articles of impeachment against Trump if he is impeached in the Democratic-controlled House. 

The former governor also cited former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTime to bring federal employees home for every holiday Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 MORE's recent Senate campaign ad praising Trump, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyKatko fends off Democratic opponent in New York race Potential 2024 Republicans flock to Georgia amid Senate runoffs The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump MORE's new book defending the president as signs of loyalty in the party's upper ranks.

"Look at the Jeff Sessions ad. If you haven't seen it yet, it is remarkable. This guy was beaten to death by the president, and yet he runs an ad that's basically a suck up ad to the president," Sanders said. "If you look at Nikki Haley's book, it's really signaling to the president that 'I'm on your team.' I mean, it's just one thing after another."

Twenty Republican senators would be needed to secure a guilty verdict in the upper chamber. 

Sanford said "there is no way" 20 Republicans would defect. 

The House impeachment inquiry will enter its public phase on Wednesday with the first televised hearings set to air on television. 

Democrats in the lower chamber are investigating whether Trump tied aid to Ukraine to the country opening an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list GOP lawmaker blasts incoming freshman over allegations of presidential voter fraud Haaland has competition to be first Native American to lead Interior  MORE and his son Hunter Biden.