One of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley’s major backers issued a statement blasting him for his role in objecting to President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
Joplin businessman David Humphreys, whose family has contributed millions of dollars to Hawley’s election efforts since 2016, said the Senate should censure Hawley “for provoking yesterday’s riots in our nation’s capital,” the Missouri Independent reported Thursday night.
Humphreys said Hawley revealed himself as a “political opportunist” who has “shown his true colors as an anti-democracy populist by supporting Trump’s false claim of a ‘stolen election’.”
Hawley was the first senator to say he was objecting to Biden’s victory over outgoing President Donald Trump.
Hawley is now a pariah among many of his colleagues, openly derided and mocked in his home state and a source of shame for longtime political supporters who helped propel him to his position.
“Sen. Hawley was doing something that was really dumbass and I’ve been really clear about that in public and in private since long before the announcement he was going to do this,” Republican Sen. Ben Sasse told NPR on Friday. “It was a stunt, and it was a terrible, terrible idea, and you don’t lie to the American people. … Lies have consequences.”
Hawley also lost the support of his one-time mentor this week, when former Sen. John Danforth — a man whose support was central to Hawley winning his 2018 Republican primary — said supporting the Republican lawmaker was “the worst mistake of my life.”
“Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life,” Danforth said in a statement to the St. Louis Today. “Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt … to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system.”
And in the wake of the insurrection, which took the lives of five people, multiple newspapers in Hawley’s home state either blamed the senator for the chaos or called on him to resign his seat.
“No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley,” wrote the editorial board of The Kansas City Star, a paper that endorsed the would-be senator in the 2018 Republican primary. “Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”
And the St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial board mocked Hawley, accusing him of having the “gall to stand before the Senate Wednesday night and feign shock, shock at what happened.”
“Hawley’s tardy, cover-his-ass condemnation of the violence ranks at the top of his substantial list of phony, smarmy and politically expedient declarations,” they wrote. “Hawley’s presidential aspirations have been flushed down the toilet because of his role in instigating Wednesday’s assault on democracy. He should do Missourians and the rest of the country a big favor and resign now.”