Outgoing Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) rebuked his GOP colleagues for what he called a “mindless sort of obedience” to President Donald Trump, saying the blind following “doesn’t do credit to the individuals” and ultimately undermines democratic institutions.
“Congress was created to be and meant to be a separate independent branch of government – not one in which its members take their direction from a president of either party,” he told The Dallas Morning News in an interview published early Tuesday.
The comments come after Thornberry refused to support the now-failed lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier this month, that sought to overturn the will of the people in four battleground states that were key to President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. The effort — which won the support of more than 100 House Republicans — was just one example cited by the GOP lawmaker of how members of his party are lining up behind Trump in blind faith.
“It was a totally bogus legal argument to say that one state has standing to complain about the way another state runs its elections,” Thornberry said of the effort out of Texas to challenge election protocols in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. “They could do it just as easily to Texas, and you start getting this back and forth that undermines our whole system.”
Amid his fast approaching retirement, the Texas lawmaker has been outspoken in his criticism of Trump and said that national interests “and your oath to the Constitution, has to come ahead of any sort allegiance to an individual, to a party, to your short-term political best interests.”
Earlier this year, Thornberry, who is the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said the President’s efforts to use Pentagon funds for a border wall was unconstitutional.
In the interview published Tuesday, the GOP lawmaker added that a failure to “agree on facts” was dangerous for the federal government — suggesting it was even more worrisome to the nation’s future than the threat of foreign adversaries.
“I am completely confident in our ability to deal with Russia and their hacking, or China and all of the threats they pose to us,” the Texas lawmaker said.
“But if we undercut ourselves, we can’t deal with those things,” he added.