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Ex-GOP lawmakers call on Republicans to speak out against Trump

Two former GOP lawmakers on Friday called on Republicans to speak out against President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE.

Former Reps. David Jolly (R-Fla.) and Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentMidterms put GOP centrists in peril House GOP group cuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop GOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation MORE (R-Pa.), who recently joined CNN as a contributor, made the comments to CNN’s Don Lemon.

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Dent, who resigned from Congress earlier this year, said that GOP lawmakers feel like they are in a Catch-22 when it comes to criticizing the president ahead of the midterm elections.

“That’s the raw politics behind all this,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed more haven’t spoken up.”

Dent said he thinks it is likely more Republicans will speak up and criticize Trump over his recent trade disputes with the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

Jolly, who left Congress in 2017, said he gives his former colleagues the “benefit of the doubt,” saying that many of them represent pro-Trump constituents and therefore have an obligation to “give voice” to them.

But, he added, in areas of national security and “matters of integrity,” he urged more Republicans to take a stronger stance against the president.

“Their legacies will reflect whether they speak out or not,” he said.

Dent said GOP lawmakers need to speak out more when Trump “goes off the rails," pointing to Trump’s claims that the FBI placed a spy in his campaign.

“We’re all going to be judged sooner or later about how we acted during this time,” he said. “People are going to look back on us with a lot of misgivings about how we may have not exercised oversight to the extent that we should have.”