Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, 41 Republican members of Congress have lost their seat, announced their retirement, or decided against seeking re-election, The Washington Post reports.
Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, and of the 241 Republicans in office at that time, almost 40% have left or will leave when their term ends. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., said his decision to retire came after Trump tweeted that four non-white congresswomen, including his fellow Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Mich., should "go back" to other countries.
"It's the wrong thing for a leader to say," Mitchell says he told an unnamed GOP leader in the House. "It's politically damaging to the party, to the country."
The congressman said the decision was later solidified by footage of attendees of a Trump rally chanting "send her back," in reference to Omar, and White House's unwillingness to cooperate with him when he asked for a meeting with Trump to express his concern.
"Did any member of this conference expect that their job would start out every morning trying to go through the list of what's happening in tweets of the day?" Mitchell asked, in reference to Trump's use of Twitter. "We're not moving forward right now. We are simply thrashing around."
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the only African-American Republican in the House, announced his retirement in August and blasted the GOP for lacking diversity in his announcement by saying, "if the party doesn't start looking like America, there will not be a party in America."
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