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Former GOP congressman says he's leaving party: 'This has become a cult'

Former Oklahoma GOP Congressman Mickey Edwards said that he is leaving his party because it has become a “cult” led by President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE

Edwards was critical of Republicans questioning the results of the presidential election, and of Republicans who voted to throw out Electoral College votes of two battleground states after a mob invaded the Capitol building last week to stop their work.

“This has become a cult. It’s no longer a political party. It’s a cult,” Edwards told Oklahoma's News 4 on Thursday. "It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted.

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“They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol, tried to kill them and killed a police officer who was trying to protect them. And they did that.”

One Capitol Police officer was killed during the violence last week. After police gained control of the building again, work continued on the Electoral College certification. A majority in the House GOP then voted to throw out the Electoral College votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Edwards served as a Republican congressman in the House for 16 years, from 1977 to 1993. He has been a critic of Trump's since he started campaigning in 2016.

Edwards was one of 30 former congressmen who signed a letter saying Trump was unfit for office. He also endorsed President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE in the 2020 race.

“It’s gone. I mean there is no Republican Party anymore that has values, principles, morals, anything,” Edwards said. 

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Edwards singled out Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCourt fines baker 0 for refusing to make gender transition cake Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' MORE (Texas) and Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Rick Scott urges NBC to demand Winter Olympics be moved from China over human rights abuses  MORE (Mo.) for criticism. The two Republicans announced they would object to the Electoral College results in certain states, which ensure debates and votes on the issue in the House and Senate.

Edwards said such Republicans had put “personal ambition” first and it is “leading them to real dark paths.”  

Edwards is now registered as an independent, but still has many of the same views he held as a Republican, he said.

“We thought taxes could be too high and harmful, we thought regulation could be too much and harmful, we should have a strong military – I agreed with all of that,” Edwards said. “It’s true today. I still agree with that.”