Former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth (R-MO) said in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that working to get Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) elected was “the worst mistake I ever made in my life.”
Danforth’s remark came after hordes of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, intending to interrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.
Hawley was “the first senator to announce plans to seek to overturn the election of President-elect Joe Biden,” the Post-Dispatch noted — a move that sparked Danforth’s initial criticism.
But after Wednesday, the senior Republican had even stronger words.
“Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” Danforth said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt (by Hawley and others) to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system. It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn’t work and that voting was fraudulent.”
Danforth blasted Hawley for failing to push back against conspiracy theories surrounding the election and said it is dangerous when people like Hawley stoke fears rather than speak the truth.
Danforth once viewed Hawley as a “special talent” who would bring keen intellect to the chamber. Now he’s disgraced the institution, Danforth says, and he regrets that he ever supported him.
“This guy,” he says of Hawley, “is doing real harm. What he’s doing to his party is one thing. What he’s doing to the country is much worse.”
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