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Mike Rogers' Trump endorsement contradicts years of criticisms

Rogers once said he was shocked by Trump’s embrace of Vladimir Putin. He now says Trump kept Russia in check.

By Jesse Valentine - January 16, 2024
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Mike Rogers
Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks at the Vision '24 conference' on March 18, 2023, in North Charleston, S.C. Rogers on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 announced that he will run for Michigan's open U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

On Jan. 9 Michigan GOP Senate candidate Mike Rogers endorsed former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign. The move is a flip-flop for Rogers who for years has been a chief Trump critic.

Rogers represented Michigan’s 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2015. After leaving congress, Rogers moved to Florida. Rogers entered the Republican primary for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat in September. His campaign is endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

On Jan. 5, 2021, the day before Trump incited a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Rogers in which he lambasted Trump for not accepting the results of the 2020 election. Rogers said Trump’s efforts to overturn the vote count in Georgia were reminiscent of criminals and despots.

“During a call that sounded more gangster than presidential, Trump called Georgia state officials, asking them to find more votes in his favor,” Rogers wrote. “This was an election that multiple independent observers, the courts and both parties have found to be free and fair. To imply otherwise is self-serving and stokes further discord in our country.” Later, Rogers said, “This behavior from the administration is seen in Third World dictatorships, not the leading democracy in the world.”

During the Jan. 6, 2021 attack, Rogers called on Trump to end the riot. In the following months, Rogers repeatedly rejected Trump’s stolen election claims and referred to Trump’s tactics as “destructive.” 

In his recent endorsement, Rogers said, “President Trump’s leadership and policies worked.”

Rogers’ critiques of Trump predate the 2020 election. In a July 2018 Facebook post, Rogers said he was shocked by Trump’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Sweden. 

“To embrace Vladimir Putin as openly as the President did, and in the face of clear Russian provocations, is to fundamentally cede our global leadership to the very person that wants to see America fail,” Rogers said.

Rogers contradicted this assessment in his endorsement when he asserted that under Trump’s leadership “our military was the strongest it had ever been, our allies knew we had their back, and China and Russia were being held in check.”

Rogers did a similar about face on the matter of Trump’s criminal indictments. In 2023, when he was considering a presidential run of his own, Rogers told Fox News that if Trump were indicted he should consider bowing out of the 2024 race. In the launch video for his senate campaign, Rogers echoed Trump’s false claims that the charges against him are politically motivated.

“What we are seeing right now is a politically motivated DOJ waging war against the leading Republican presidential candidate on behalf of President Biden,” Rogers said. 

In response, former Illinois U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger posted the following on X: “This is not the Mike Rogers I knew.  How did you fall so far mike? Truly hurts to see this.”

A spokesperson for Rogers did not immediately respond to questions for this story.


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