Dozens of members of former President George W. Bush's administration are reportedly planning to leave the Republican Party following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, citing the party's ongoing embrace of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE.
Sources told Reuters that as many as 60 former officials would leave the party in the coming days, with at least one also citing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-Ga.) promotion of conspiracy theories as a reason for their exit.
“If it continues to be the party of Trump, many of us are not going back,” said Rosario Marin, a former U.S. Treasury official, told the news service. “Unless the Senate convicts him, and rids themselves of the Trump cancer, many of us will not be going back to vote for Republican leaders.”
Jimmy Gurulé, a former Treasury under secretary, added that the Republican Party as he knew it "no longer exists."
"I’d call it the cult of Trump,” he said.
“The number [of defections] is growing every day," said Kristopher Purcell, a Bush White House communications staffer, according to Reuters.
Reuters noted that neither representatives for Trump nor a representative of Bush responded to requests for comment.
Trump's control over the party has been an issue of concern for many national Republicans eager to rid themselves of the former president following the events of Jan. 6, when his supporters rioted as members of Congress were meeting to certify President Biden's Electoral College win, despite the GOP's voting base largely remaining in his corner.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublican spin on Biden is off the mark Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress MORE (R-Calif.), under fire from Democrats and some in the centrist wing of his own party to take a stand against Trump and remove Greene from her committee assignments, recently met with the former president in Florida and is set to meet with Greene this week.
“A united conservative movement will strengthen the bonds of our citizens and uphold the freedoms our country was founded on,” the House GOP leader said after meeting with the former president.
Trump has expressed his own interest in running again in 2024 following his defeat to Biden in November.
Updated at 9:02 a.m.