Chuck Todd and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw Get Into Heated Exchange Over Trump and GOP Rifts

NBC News' Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and Texas GOP Congressman Dan Crenshaw on Sunday engaged in a heated exchange over former President Donald Trump and the future of the Republican Party.

In a segment on the TV show, Todd grilled Crenshaw for signing onto a December lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that questioned the elections of other states.

"You guys in the press painted that as some extreme action and of course, it wasn't," Crenshaw said. "That amicus brief was a simple question to the Supreme Court, saying, 'Can you please speak to this question of whether process changes in the election, last minute, not approved by the legislature, can be deemed constitutional?'"

The Republican lawmaker claimed that the lawsuit simply posed a "question," then expressed his belief that "it's unconstitutional to overturn the election in Congress."

"I voted to certify," he added.

Dan Crenshaw doesn't like Chuck Todd bringing up the fact that he signed onto the Texas lawsuit to toss out swing state votes, then says "you guys in the press" like doing this because they're "largely liberal."

Todd: "Don’t start that. There’s nothing lazier than that excuse."

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 16, 2021

In January—after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building and halted the process of certifying each state's presidential election results—eight GOP senators and 130 Republican representatives objected to certifying results in at least one battleground state.

Crenshaw did not object to certifying Joe Biden's election win. Following the vote, the lawmaker chastised Trump and the Republicans who voted to oppose certification.

"All of the members who called for everyone to come and fight and make their last stand, all of those members were scattered like cowards while the Capitol Police had to do the fighting," he told Hearst Newspapers.

Todd continued to press Crenshaw over the Texas lawsuit, arguing that the move was "weaponized" by Trump.

"I understand that you guys want to put this behind you, but he is the leader of your party and he doesn't stop talking about this nonsense," the host said.

In recent months, an intra-party Republican battle has broken out between the Trump wing and an establishment wing impatient to end his influence on the party. The ex-president's loyal allies have vowed to retaliate against those who oppose his Make American Great Again movement. Earlier this week, Republicans voted to oust Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney from her party leadership position over criticism of Trump.

"He's one of many leaders in the party, he's a former president," Crenshaw said. "We're five months into President Biden's presidency and there is a time to move on. Look, you guys in the press love doing this. I get it. The press is largely liberal, they're largely pro-Democrat..."

Todd interrupted: "No, no, no. Don't start that. There's nothing lazier than that excuse."

"There's a lot of people in my party that would take the bait. I'm not going to take the bait here," Crenshaw said.

Todd pushed back on his guest's allegation, saying: "I'm not trying to bait you."

"I'm trying to figure out why we have this political party that's basically rallying around this bizarre lie and mythology that the former president is doing and you guys just want to say, 'Hey, pay no attention to this.' Like somehow we, the press, are bringing it up. It's the former president," he added.

Newsweek reached out to Crenshaw's office for further comment. This story will be updated with any response.

Dan Crenshaw and Chuck Todd
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshew and NBC's Chuck Todd engaged in a heated exchange over former President Donald Trump and the future of the GOP. Alex Wong/Getty Images