Former congressman calls out fellow Republicans for defending Trump

Former GOP congressman challenges Paul Ryan
Former GOP congressman challenges Paul Ryan


    Former GOP congressman challenges Paul Ryan


Former GOP congressman challenges Paul Ryan 02:35

Story highlights

  • Inglis also called out House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter on Friday
  • If Trump were a Democrat, there would be more backlash from Republicans over Comey's firing, he said

Washington (CNN)A former GOP representative argued Friday that if President Donald Trump were a Democrat, there would be more backlash from Republicans over the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"If Hillary Clinton had won and Comey had re-opened an investigation into her email server and she didn't like the way it was going and she fired him, I'm quite certain my party would be rightly howling," Bob Inglis, a former South Carolina representative, told CNN's Erin Burnett Friday on "OutFront." "When the shoe's on this foot, it's like, 'Oh, well, he's new at it.'"
The former politician, who lost his re-election bid in 2010, also called out House Speaker Paul Ryan for his defense of Trump.
    "@SpeakerRyan you know this isn't true," Inglis tweeted, linking to an article titled "Ryan denies GOP would try to impeach Dem accused of same actions as Trump."
    "You know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a D."
    Inglis argued Ryan, who he called a friend, is apologizing for Trump too much.
    The former congressman was among 30 former GOP lawmakers who signed an anti-Trump letter in October 2016. They wrote the then-candidate made a "makes a mockery" of their principles.
    Inglis, who voted for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, said "the substance" of the investigation into the Trump administration is "way more serious."
    "In the case of Bill Clinton, we were dealing with sex in the White House with an intern and then a cover up," Inglis said. "That's quite different substance than a hostile country affecting or attempting to affect the outcome of our presidential election."
    He said Clinton also "never fired the FBI director when he didn't like the way an investigation was going."
    The investigation into Russia's probe in the 2016 election and the Trump administration's potential ties to Russia is more similar to President Richard Nixon's situation, Inglis said. He cited the "Saturday Night Massacre," during which Nixon tried to "get rid of the people that were pursuing the investigation" into Watergate.
    "It didn't work out for Nixon, and I really think Donald Trump might have learned that it's probably not a good idea," Inglis said. "Because there are an awful lot of FBI agents now that want to make sure they get to the bottom of this."
    Still, he said "it's too early to tell" whether Trump could be impeached.
    "What the House has to do is look at these facts and ... not hold back with any explanations or minimizing it or explaining it away," he said. "But rather say, 'Now listen here: This is a serious matter. Somebody here might have participated in a hostile country's attack on the heart of our republic, and we're going to get to the bottom of it. And if it leads to the President, or to his family, or to anybody in his campaign, so be it.'"