Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers: Trump ‘Has No Idea What Courage Is’

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that former President Donald Trump had “no idea what courage is.”

Bowers testified to the House Select Committee investigating January 6, 2021 about the former president’s actions surrounding the 2020 election.

Partial transcript as follows:

JON KARL: So Donald Trump was just out here in Arizona —

BOWERS: Yes.

KARL: — to campaign against you. I mean, a former president —

BOWERS: It’s surreal.

KARL: — getting involved in a state legislative race here.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rusty Bowers is a rhino coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself and he disgraced the State of Arizona. David (ph) —

KARL: So what’s that like to have the former President of the United States, the leading figure in Republican Party come to your backyard, call you a rhino coward and say you disgraced yourself and disgraced the State of Arizona?

BOWERS: I have thought at times someone born how he was and raised how he was, he has no idea what a hard life is, and what people have to go through in the real world. He has no idea what courage is.

KARL: How do you explain the hold that he has, though, on Republicans, including a lot of Republican leaders right here in Arizona?

BOWERS: Yes. They rule by thuggery and intimidation. So, you know, they found a niche, they found a way, and it’s fear and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon, and they weaponize everything and we all know it. But it’s — that’s not leadership to me, to use thuggery.

KARL: Liz Cheney asked the question, can a president who was willing to make the choices Donald Trump made —

REP. LIZ CHENEY, (R-WY): Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6th, ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?

BOWERS: I would certainly hope not. I certainly don’t trust that authority that he would exercise.

KARL: Liz also said that the reality that we face today as Republicans is we have to choose to be loyal to Donald Trump or to be loyal to the Constitution, and you can’t be both, and that’s what — and that’s the choice the Republicans faced. I mean, that’s the choice you faced.

BOWERS: Definitely and forcefully so, as I said.

KARL: Yes.

BOWERS: You will come to us or we will punish you and that’s kind of the attitude of that particular group. If you want to base a party and an authority and move people to solve problems, you can’t base it on a lie. Ultimately that falls apart.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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