Republicans Seeking 'Off-Ramp' From Trump's Path, Says GOP Governor

Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson said he hopes the Republican party can move beyond Donald Trump, as he criticized the former president over the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday's Bret Baier, Hutchinson said the former president has responsibility for the actions of his supporters during the January 6 riot.

Trump has been accused of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and undermine the American democratic system, sparking a near year-long investigation into the Capitol riot.

"I hope that the future of the Republican Party is different than former President Trump's leadership," Hutchinson said.

"I hope we move in a different direction. I believe that what happened on January 6 is a lot at his feet.

"It was wrong for our country, and for him to continue to push that theory, I agree, is the wrong direction for the Republican Party."

"I think there's many Republicans that are looking for an off-ramp, new opportunities to find leadership in the future."

Hutchinson went on to praise some of Trump's actions during his presidency.

"There's a lot of things that [Donald Trump] did that were very good that the base and I agree with but he got off track on Jan. 6 and that was a costly error for our democracy and I agree with a lot of the comments—he has responsibility there and we need to make sure that's clear.

"I think Republicans need to do a lot of soul-searching as to what is the right thing here. What is the right thing to say for our party, our democracy and our future and not simply appeal to the basest instincts of some of our base."

Republican Representative Liz Cheney fired a warning to members of her own party who back Trump during her opening remarks at the first public hearing of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol on Thursday.

"I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible. There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain," Cheney, the vice-chair of the House select committee, said.

The remarks by the Republican lawmaker bear similarity to comments she made in January when she suggested that members of her party must choose between being loyal to either the U.S. Constitution or to Trump.

On Thursday, Cheney continued: "In our country, we don't swear an oath to an individual, or a political party. We take our oath to defend the United States Constitution. And that oath must mean something."

"There is a reason why people serving in our Government take an oath to the Constitution," she continued. "As our founding fathers recognized, democracy is fragile. People in positions of public trust are duty-bound to defend it—to step forward when action is required."

The investigation into the January 6 attack is still ongoing.

Newsweek has contacted Donald Trump for comment.

Asa Hutchinson
Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson attends The Future of Everything presented by the Wall Street Journal at Spring Studios on May 17, 2022 in New York City. Republicans seeking ‘off-ramp’ from Trump’s path says Hutchinson. Getty