First US Republican lawmaker breaks with party, backs Clinton

By REUTERS
August 2, 2016 18:19

WASHINGTON - A Republican lawmaker in Congress became the first to break with his party over the White House campaign on Tuesday, denouncing presidential candidate Donald Trump as unfit to lead and pledging to vote for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The break followed days of dispute between Trump and the parents of a Muslim US Army officer killed in the Iraq war, that has fueled fresh unease among many Republicans over the New York businessman's policies and style.

In an op-ed piece, Representative Richard Hanna of New York cited Trump's attacks on the parents, calling the candidate "deeply flawed in endless ways," "unrepentant" and "self-involved."

"For me, it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country," Hanna wrote in the letter posted on syracuse.com, the website of the Post-Standard newspaper in New York.

While some lawmakers have not actively endorsed Trump, Hanna was the first to say he would vote for Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.


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