Donald Trump is “absolutely 100 per cent, not going to be the Republican nominee” in the 2020 election, his former spokesperson has claimed.
Anthony Scaramucci said a series of poor results in this week’s state and municipal elections were a “total repudiation of the president”.
Democrats won full control of the state government in Virginia for the first time in a generation, while Kentucky voters rejected its Republican governor Matt Bevin, who has been a vocal supporter of Mr Trump.
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Mr Scaramucci, who served as Mr Trump’s spokesperson for 10 days in 2017, said the poor showing will prompt Republican politicians to turn their backs on their party leader.
The results were “sending a signal to Republicans in congress, the house and the senate, that they’ve got to get away from him and away from Trumpism if they want to survive”, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Mr Scaramucci, who has become a vocal critic of the president, added that Mr Trump’s supporters were “being deprogrammed from a cult”.
The said: “They are starting to awaken and starting to get a sense that they’re backing the wrong guy, they’re backing a demagogue.”
Asked if he thought the president would be gone by the 2020 election, he added: “Oh absolutely 100 per cent, not going to be the Republican nominee… by March they’re going to have to jettison him so they have a viable fight come November”.
While the ongoing impeachment effort against Mr Trump is likely to pass in the Democrat-controlled House, the only way he could be removed from office would be through a motion supported by Republicans in the senate.
While some, including prominent Trump’s critic and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have said they will keep an open mind to the findings of the committee, so far no Republican politicians have said they would vote for impeachment.
The heavy Republican election losses came after a senior US diplomat told the impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump that the president’s dealings with Ukraine involved a quid pro quo, and that the nation’s receipt of military aid was dependent upon Kiev launching a corruption probe of the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.
In a reversal of his previous statement to investigators, the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, said he was aware US assistance to Ukraine was dependent on such an undertaking.