“Well, anything that is divisive is a concern and is not helpful for us fighting in the battles in Washington and at the state level,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” when asked about Trump having criticized top Republicans on Saturday while speaking to Republican National Committee donors. “In some ways, it’s not a big deal what he said, but at the same time whenever it draws attention, we don’t need that.”
“We need unity. We need to be focused together,” he added. “We have slim majorities or slim numbers in Washington and we got battles to fight. So we need to get beyond that.”
The comments from the governor come as top leaders in the party struggle to gain control of its direction in the wake of the former President’s loss. As Trump loyalists in Congress and at the state-level continue to support his vision for the party, others are looking for leadership elsewhere as the GOP aims for gains in the 2022 midterm election and recapturing the White House in 2024.
Speaking to the donors Saturday evening, Trump insulted Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — comments that received huge applause — and once again took aim at former Vice President Mike Pence, whom he said had failed him in overseeing the certification of the Electoral College results, according to a person in the room.
Trump went through an extensive recounting of debunked claims the election was stolen from him, the person said, and also spoke generally about party unity, lamenting that Republicans don’t stick together as well as Democrats.
This story is breaking and will be updated.