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Former President Donald Trump  speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 15, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 15. Alon Skuy / AFP - Getty Images file

Eyes on the 2024 campaign: GOP responds to Trump controversy

Some congressional Republicans denounced Trump's calls to terminate the Constitution, but stopped short of saying it was disqualifying.

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Congressional Republicans, now back in Washington and facing reporters, are starting to respond to former President Donald Trump’s latest controversy. Trump claimed over the weekend that even the Constitution can be “terminated” as a response to the 2020 election, which Trump falsely claims was stolen. 

Republicans denounced Trump’s statement, but stopped short of saying it means he is unfit for office, NBC News’ Zoë Richards, Kate Santaliz and Garrett Haake report. Take Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who is up for re-election in 2024. Asked if Trump’s remarks were disqualifying, Scott said, “I think the voters get to decide those things.”

Trump’s latest statement also spurred his former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, to reveal he’s considering running for president. Bolton, whom Trump fired in 2019, told Meet the Press Now he would “absolutely” consider running if no other potential GOP candidate denounces Trump’s comments. 

“I think to be a presidential candidate you can’t just say, ‘I support the Constitution.’ You have to say, ‘I would oppose people who would undercut it,’” Bolton said. 

Elsewhere in 2024 news:

RNC race: Harmeet Dhillon, a committeewoman from California who leads the Republican National Lawyers Association, announced on Fox News Monday night that she is running for RNC chair. “Republicans are tired of losing and I think we really need to radically reshape our leadership in order to win,” she said. 

View from Sanders world: Former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir penned a New York Times op-ed sharply criticizing the proposal to make South Carolina the first Democratic primary state, writing, “The change would be comical if it weren’t tragic.” 

Can you pay my bills?: Trump’s Save America PAC is paying legal fees for some witnesses in the Mar-a-Lago investigation, the Washington Post reports. 

De$antis: Donors willing to pay between $50,000 and $1 million to sponsor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ inauguration could get access to the governor and potential presidential contender, Politico reports.