NJ Rep. Van Drew said he wouldn't vote for Trump weeks before switching parties: report

NJ Rep. Van Drew said he wouldn't vote for Trump weeks before switching parties: report

New Jersey Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R), who made a high-profile defection from the Democratic Party to the GOP over impeachment last month, signaled weeks before the move that he would not vote for President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE in November.

In a voicemail obtained and released by The Philadelphia Inquirer Friday, Van Drew assured one of his constituents three weeks before he switched parties that he would not support the president.

Van Drew later affirmed his “undying support” for Trump after switching parties.

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"I haven’t voted for him, I didn’t support him, I will not vote for him,” Van Drew said of Trump in the Nov. 30 voicemail. 

Van Drew also addressed his opposition to the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump, arguing that the process would “tear the country further apart.” 

“I’d rather just beat him in a normal election,” he said. “I really am just trying to do my best, and I’m trying to do what I think is right.” 

The voicemail’s release comes days before Trump is set to hold a campaign rally in Van Drew’s district in Wildwood, N.J. 

Van Drew made his support for Trump official in December at an Oval Office meeting with Trump.

“I believe that this is just a better fit for me. This is who I am,” he said sitting next to the president. “You have my undying support. Always.” 

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Van Drew dismissed the recording, saying he’s been clear in his backing of the president.

“I’ve pledged my support for the president in the Oval Office, on the floor of the House when I voted against impeachment, in South Jersey diners and everywhere in between," Van Drew told The Inquirer on Friday when asked about the voicemail. "My support for President Trump couldn’t be more clear — and he’ll hear it again from me in person on Tuesday night in Wildwood.”

Van Drew did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

“We are happy that the president has the support of Congressman Van Drew, who was fed up with the nonsense from within his own party,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Inquirer regarding the recording.