WATCH: Ted Cruz’s BFF Sen. Mike Lee Explains Why He Won’t Endorse Trump

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) thinks Donald Trump (R-N.Y.) is unethical and anti-American, but hey, that doesn’t mean Lee wouldn’t vote for Trump if he just says a few magic words.

During an interview on right-wing Newsmax TV, host Steve Bergman tried to pressure Lee into supporting Trump, mostly because there will likely be Supreme Court openings, and because guys like Malzberg just can’t understand why a Republican would not do everything possible to defeat former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Lee let loose with just the kind of response I’d cheer, were it not for the follow-up. From Crooks and Liars:

“STEVE MALZBERG: I just don’t understand why you’re not out there, you know, trumpeting Trump.

MIKE LEE: Hey look, Steve, I get it. You want me to endorse Trump.

MALZBERG: Well I don’t understand why you’re not, really. Yeah.

LEE: Well, we can get into that, if you want. We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the fact that, he has made some statements, that some have identified, correctly, as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he is wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. People who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838, and statements like that make them nervous.”

Sounds great, right? Lee is outraged that Trump brazenly told a pants-on-fire lie about the father of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) having ties to the JFK assassination. He also knows that Trump’s religious intolerance toward Muslims especially resonates for Mormons in Utah.

But in his next breath, Lee revealed that he’s willing to toss those principles overboard if Trump just says ‘the right things.” In fact, Lee is hoping he will:

“Now look, these things are not something I couldn’t get over, if I heard the right things from him. Look, I hope I can get over these concerns. If you want to go to why I have these concerns, I can go on if you like. I hope I can get over these concerns, I hope Trump can help me identify them. But don’t sit here and tell me, Steve, that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump.”

So what do you think are those “right things” that Trump can say to win Lee’s vote? That he was just kidding about that Muslim ban? That he’ll appoint Lee and Cruz to cabinet positions?

Or if Trump just promises to restrict his religious bigotry to Mormons and makes a big apology to Cruz, then Lee can shrug off his principles and get behind his party’s candidate?

Watch the interview below, via Crooks and Liars:

Featured image via screen grab.


Ellen Brodsky is a long time blogger for and a contributor to Crooks and Liars. She has also worked as a researcher for Brave New Films' landmark documentary, "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" and "Iraq for Sale."