Donald Trump Attacks GOP Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Over Veto of Transgender Bill: 'Bye-Bye!'

Former President Donald Trump continues to ramp up his feud with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, attacking the Republican state leader Thursday over his veto of a bill that targeted people who are transgender.

"Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN," Trump said in a statement to reporters. "'Bye-bye Asa,' that's the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next Governor!"

Hutchinson, a staunch conservative who has been Arkansas' governor since 2015, is term-limited and cannot run in the 2022 gubernatorial election. His state office didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on Trump's attack.

On Wednesday, Hutchinson vetoed legislation that would ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender people younger than 18.

"We want to send a message of tolerance and diversity," Hutchinson told reporters in Arkansas of the bill, noting that if it became law, people could turn to the black market or go out of state for trans health needs.

The state legislature overruled his veto just a day later.

Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, previously served as White House press secretary to Trump for nearly two years. She announced in January that she will run for governor.

Hutchinson, once a Trump ally, was a critic of the former president after a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 that attempted to upend the election of Joe Biden as president. He has said he won't support the former president if he seeks another term in 2024, which Trump has floated as a possibility.

"He's going to have a voice, as former presidents do," Hutchinson said during a CNN interview in February. "But there's many voices in the party."

Trump had kept a relatively low profile after leaving the White House just before Biden's inauguration on January 20, but in recent weeks, the former president has begun releasing more statements to the press through email. His Twitter account—once his preferred mode of direct communication—was suspended after the Capitol riots.

Hutchinson joins several other Republicans who spoke out against Trump after the election whom Trump has vowed to help defeat in upcoming elections.

Despite Trump's re-election loss, he has remained politically popular among his GOP base. Several Republicans in recent weeks have traveled to his new home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida to try to woo his support and hold fundraisers.

Sanders recently posted a photo to social media showing Trump dropping into a fundraiser she was holding at the resort.

"Another great weekend on the campaign trail featuring a surprise appearance at one of my events by President Trump!" she wrote on Twitter.

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President Donald Trump meets with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (left) and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (right) on May 20, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images