Former Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii, announced on Monday that he is leaving the Republican Party.
Djou, who first joined Congress after winning a special election in 2010, called out President Donald Trump in the Honolulu Civil Beat, writing, "I can no longer stand with a Republican Party that is led by a man I firmly believe is taking the party of Lincoln in a direction I fundamentally disagree with, and a party that is unwilling to stand up to him."
The former lawmaker cites his long held belief "that America's strength lies in our nation's diversity — not its exclusion or isolation," and notes that he "championed immigration reform as a congressman," and that "It disturbs me that the Republican Party under President Donald Trump is now defined as a party hostile to immigration. We are the leader of the free world, not because we are great (or need to be great again), but because we are good."
Djou adds that "Trump's decision to withdraw from the TPP, his threats to leave NAFTA, and now his desire to launch a "good trade war" — even with our allies — will lead to long-term economic decline and weaken our country."
He also calls back to his own military service in Afghanistan, and writes how he was "Trump's repeated callousness toward the select few of our citizens who volunteered to defend our nation with their lives," including his comments on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and the Gold Star family that spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
"I am most disappointed by the failure of the GOP to clearly and consistently condemn Trump's childish behavior," Djou writes. "Sadly today, too many Republicans either applaud Trump's tirades or greet them with silent acceptance. This leads to an implicit ratification by the GOP of Trump's undisciplined, uninformed, and unfocused leadership as a core part of the Republican Party. This is something I cannot accept and will not be a part of."
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