May 22, 2019

Big GOP donors turn on Justin Amash over Trump impeachment comments

Rep. Justin Amash. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

Michigan's influential and wealthy DeVos family will cease its support for Rep. Justin Amash, turning on the fifth-term Republican lawmaker after he tweeted that President Trump has engaged in "impeachable conduct," the Detroit News reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The backlash Amash has faced since his Saturday tweets, including condemnation from his own House Freedom Caucus, serves as evidence of the perils of criticizing Trump as a member of the Republican party. Within days of Amash's Twitter attack, the Michigan lawmaker earned himself a new primary challenger — state Rep. Jim Lower, a loyal pro-Trump conservative, per the Detroit News.

Context: To date, the DeVos family — hailing from Amash's west-central Michigan district — has contributed $65,000 to Amash's primary and general campaigns, The Daily Beast reports. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was required to conclude her own political giving when she took her position in the Trump administration, but other DeVos family members continued their considerable fundraising efforts.

  • Amash — who the New York Times recently described as "a libertarian with a contrarian streak that earned him the nickname 'Mr. No'" — opposed Trump's nomination in 2016. The lawmaker sides with the president on roughly 62% of issues and votes, the lowest among any Republican in Congress, per ABC News.

What's next: Amash has floated the idea of running as a third-party candidate to challenge Trump in 2020, according to the Daily Beast.

Go deeper: Trump attacks Republican Justin Amash for endorsing impeachment

Go deeper

Trump acknowledges lists of disloyal government officials to oust

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Monday acknowledged the existence of assembled lists of government officials that his administration plans to oust and replace with trusted pro-Trump people, which were first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan.

What he's saying: “I don’t think it's a big problem. I don’t think it's very many people,” Trump said during a press conference in India, adding he wants “people who are good for the country, loyal to the country.”

Coronavirus only part of the story behind the Dow’s drop

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

As someone has certainly told you by now, the Dow fell by more than 1,000 points yesterday, its worst day in more than two years, erasing all of 2020's gains. Most news headlines assert that the stock market's momentum was finally broken by "coronavirus fears," but that's not the full story.

What's happening: The novel coronavirus has been infecting and killing scores of people for close to a month and, depending on the day, the market has sold off or risen to record highs.

Bernie's historic Jewish fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish presidential nominee of a major American political party — but that history-making possibility is being overshadowed by his conflicts with America's Jewish leaders and Israel's leadership.

The big picture: That's partly because we're all focusing on the implications of Democrats nominating a self-described democratic socialist. It's also because a candidate's religion no longer seems to matter as much to voters or the media, making the potential milestone of a Jewish nominee more of a non-event.