May 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Reports: More than 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party over Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Former President Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

  • Per the New York Times, the letter's preamble will state, "When in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice."
  • The letter is due to be released one day after House Republicans are expected to vote on ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her position as conference chair.

For the record: The letter's signatories include former "governors, members of Congress, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, state legislators and Republican Party chairmen," per the Times, citing co-organizer Miles Taylor.

What they're saying: "This is us saying that ... the situation has gotten so dire with the Republican Party that it is now time to seriously consider whether an alternative might be the only option, said Taylor, the Trump-era Department of Homeland Security official who wrote an anonymous NYT op-ed on the administration.

  • Taylor also tweeted: "My philosophy on GOP extremists: if you won't join 'em, beat 'em. Come fight with us."

The other side: Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Trump, tweeted: "These losers left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden."

  • Representatives for the Republican Party did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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