GOP congressman: Establishment could be “amputated out” of party for not supporting Trump

Iowa Rep. Steve King said on Tuesday that an effort led by House Speaker Paul Ryan to focus Republican attention away from the presidential race could cause the establishment wing of the GOP to be “amputated out.”

King made the comments in a discussion with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham about a conference call Ryan held with House Republicans in which he said that he would no longer campaign for Donald Trump and would instead work to protect the party’s congressional majorities. They were comparing the political fallout from comments Trump made on an audiotape leaked on Friday to The Washington Post to that from Bill Clinton’s sexual conduct in the White House in the 1990s when Ingraham said that she thought that voters “have just about enough.”

King replied that he agreed.

“I hear that, Laura,” he said. “And I also think about the establishment wing of the party could simply be amputated out in this effort that’s going on right now. They’ve gone so far out on this limb. And in the end, maybe we can rebuild. And for me—what they’re thinking, one thing is, they don’t want Trump’s immigration plan. They’re for the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill. That’s worth a lot to them.”

Earlier in the interview, King said that he does not think Republicans should consider the presidential election a lost cause.

“It looks grim,” he said. “But I would not resign myself that the election is lost. We do not know that we’ve lost and we must not believe that we have and the best thing we can do is lift Trump up.”

By Chris Massie, CNN