But he’s hardly the first person to pull a 180 on Trump. Trump’s presidency has been littered with them, and they’ve gone both ways — from NeverTrumper to Trump backer and from Trump backer to foe.
Below are some of the starkest and most contradictory flip-flops on Trump.
9. Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter hasn’t completely turned on Trump, but she gets points for being way out on a limb for him, only to see that limb snapped. The title of her 2016 book was actually, really, no joke, “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!” Well, she no longer trusts in Trump so much. He hasn’t been hard-line enough on immigration for her — particularly regarding the border wall — and last week she said he “deserves to lose” reelection. Not so awesome after all, apparently.
8. Mike Pompeo
As we learned Monday courtesy of the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser, Mike Pompeo in 2016 warned that Trump would be “an authoritarian President who ignored our Constitution.” He also emphasized that soldiers who would serve under Trump “don’t swear an allegiance to President Trump or any other president; they take an oath to defend our Constitution …” Today, the secretary of state’s fealty to Trump is nearly unmatched in the administration, with nary a peep about Trump cozying up to authoritarians.
7. Jason Chaffetz
Many Republicans denounced Trump when the “Access Hollywood” tape came out, but then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) decided to stake out the highest possible principled ground. He said he couldn’t look his teenage daughter in the eye and explain Trump’s comments. Even a few months into Trump’s presidency, he was criticizing the administration. It actually made sense: Despite Utah being very conservative, the state despised Trump even toward the end of the 2016 race. Then Chaffetz resigned from Congress. Today he’s a guest host on Sean Hannity’s TV show, and he wrote a book titled, “The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Is Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda.”
6. Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney in 2016 called Trump a “terrible human being” who had said “disgusting and indefensible” things on the “Access Hollywood” tape. He was also a deficit-hawk member of the tea party movement. Today, he’s acting chief of staff to that “terrible human being” who is shrugging at our rapidly increasing deficit.
5. Andrew Napolitano
In fairness to Andrew Napolitano, his evolution on Trump seems to be of a more principled, libertarian variety — rather than an utterly contradictory one. It also seems to have cost him airtime on Fox News Channel. Once a purveyor of deep-state conspiracy theories, the judge in recent months has adjusted his commentary in a more anti-Trump direction, particularly when it comes to the findings of the Mueller report. He also recently accused Trump of unleashing “a torrent of hatred” in a FoxNews.com op-ed. Trump has claimed this is because he declined to nominate Napolitano to the Supreme Court. Napolitano denies that.
4. Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci is high on this list because, despite serving in a senior White House role for just 10 days, he still served in a senior White House role. It’s true that his comments about Trump have long been somewhat nuanced, and he seems to be a publicity hound, but he was also the guy who was saying Trump was a force for good and a good person, despite his warts. Even just before his relationship with Trump fell apart last weekend, he was on Bill Maher’s show standing by the president.
3. Glenn Beck
Perhaps no media figure has pulled such a great flip-flop on Trump. Glenn Beck staked out principled ground against someone who “could be one of the most dangerous presidents to ever come into the Oval Office.” After Trump’s election, he pulled out the Hitler comparisons, saying he saw “the seeds of what happened in Germany in 1933.” Today, even as Trump has stoked racial divisions and split the country in a way Beck once decried, Beck is very much onboard. Beck now says if Trump loses in 2020, “I think we are officially at the end of the country as we know it.” (In the video above, he explains his evolution to Hannity.)
2. Ted Cruz
In 2016, Trump was a “sniveling coward,” a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral” and a “serial philanderer.” Today, none of those things seem to matter to “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, who gladly accepted Trump’s help in fending off a spirited challenge from Beto O’Rourke last year in a Senate election in Texas.
1. Lindsey O. Graham
It’s pretty tough to beat it when you defend Trump against virtually the same attacks you once launched on him. “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham said in 2016. Fast-forward to late 2017, and Graham said, “What concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy some kind of kook not fit to be president.” Today Graham might be Trump’s biggest ally in Congress, and he has all but acknowledged that his evolution on Trump is one borne of political convenience.