An appearance by a newly-elected Republican headed to the House to represent New York did not go well on Saturday morning after MSNBC host Ali Velshi pestered him over whether he would support Donald Trump if he ran for president again.
Republican Mike Lawler scored a major upset on election day, beating Rep Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in a newly revamped New York City district, and his interview with Velshi grew heated as he attempted to sidestep questions about the former president.
“Donald Trump is going to probably declare his presidency on Tuesday. Will you support him if he’s the Republican nominee in the next election?” Velshi asked.
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With Lawler demurring and said it would be “premature” to talk about that eventuality, the MSNBC host pressed, “Come on, Mike Lawler — you’re a good guy. I want you to be a regular guest on my show and you can’t possibly have doubt about whether or not you’re going to.”
After the Republican waffled once again, Velshi exclaimed, “Pretend we’re not on TV. Guys, cut the cameras; we’re not on TV. This is just you and me talking in a room. Will you support Donald Trump if he’s the Republican nominee?”
“You know what I’ve thought about for the entirety of this campaign? I thought about getting across the finish line and getting to work, and that was the focus for me. It was not about the 2024 election. It was about November 8th,” Lawler parried before continuing, “There is a lot of time between now and 2024 to let this play out. And I think, I think the objective of trying to litigate this within 24 hours or the 24-hour news cycle doesn’t.”
“You had four years to litigate Donald Trump,” the MSNBC host challenged him
“Listen, a lot of a lot of the policies that he enacted, people supported,” the newly elected Republican attempted which led Velshi to exclaim, “He is a liar, he undermines democracy. You are not, you do not undermine democracy. You actually support democracy.”
After the MSNBC host mentioned the Jan. 6 insurrection, Lawler replied, “Listen Jan. 6 was wrong. And everybody, everybody who was involved in storming the Capitol obviously should be held accountable for it. The objective moving forward is to get this country going in a better direction, cut the crap and focus on how we solve the problems that we’re facing.”
He continued, “I’m excited to see how this plays out over the coming months and, and years ahead. But my focus is on getting to work and doing the people’s business. That’s what, — that’s why I ran in the first place. And that’s what my focus is.”
“Alright, we’re putting you in the maybe column — let me know when that changes,” the MSNBC host replied.
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