“Supporting Josh Hawley … was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life,” former Sen. John Danforth (R-Missouri) told the Associated Press on Thursday. 

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), a mostly unknown first-term senator, has been making national headlines after appealing to pro-Trump protesters on the Capitol on Wednesday, and supporting President Donald Trump’s demonstrably false accusations of widespread voter fraud. Hawley still refuses to accept President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Hawley, a lawyer with degrees from Yale and Stanford, surprised many when he came out in support of Trump’s false claims. Experts, however, point to Hawley’s constituents in Missouri, who overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, and presidential ambitions as a reason for his recent actions. 

Hawley has now been publicly denounced by former Republican allies, former donors to his campaign, his constituents and the student bar association at the University of Missouri Law School where Hawley was a professor. The student bar specifically demand that Hawley resign. Hawley was also dropped by publisher Simon & Schuster for his upcoming book.

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Danforth commented further to the AP that Hawley’s reputation is likely in jeopardy. “How is he going to operate in the Senate with Republicans? When Mitch McConnell pleads don’t do this and he does it, and then this is the consequence. How is he going to get along with his colleagues? How is he going to do anything? What’s his political future?”

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