Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Tex.) appeared to caution against attempts to push former president Trump out of a position of influence within the GOP, in comments on MSNBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
Host Chuck Todd asked whether Crenshaw believed Trump was a “legitimate leader of the Republican party.”
WATCH: Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) says Republicans can’t “ex-communicate” former President Trump, but that he won’t go into “black and white thinking.”@RepDanCrenshaw: “I do not think Trump is the devil. And I won’t say that. He’s not Jesus other.” pic.twitter.com/vJxj93jgnW
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 16, 2021
“Hold on, I believe that you’re not going to excommunicate a former president, right?” Crenshaw responded. “I refuse to go into this sort of black and white thinking about, it’s either totally one thing or totally the other. These are complex human relationships that involve millions of people.”
Crenshaw also commented on the House GOP’s decision to oust Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) as GOP Conference Chair, by a voice vote on Wednesday. Cheney and colleague Adam Kinzinger (R., Il.) have continued to criticize Trump over his allegations that Democrats “stole” the election, and for his apparent refusal to help quell rioting at the Capitol on January 6.
“I refuse to allow this drama to engulf us. That’s what [Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy was saying, and I fully agree with that,” Crenshaw said. “Look, I say this to Liz, and I say this to Adam: You’re not going to get the colleagues who believe in that stuff to apologize to you, to agree with you.”
Crenshaw did not take part in the vote to remove Cheney because of ongoing medical issues with his left eye, which was damaged by an I.E.D. blast while Crenshaw was deployed in Afghanistan in 2012.
“I’m very grateful to be outside that particular drama because it is just drama,” Crenshaw told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday. “It is all self-imposed drama, it is self-imposed division. Frankly, I’m very sick of it. It is the only way that we lose in  and the presidency in . The only way we lose is this BS, self-imposed drama.”