Retiring GOP Rep Says Trump ‘Was a Factor’ in Decision to Quit: ‘He’s a Very Polarizing Figure’

Back in August, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) announced that he would be retiring from Congress at the end of his term and not seek re-election in 2018. Dent, a well-known Trump critic, has since noted that loyalty to the president is the “new litmus test” for Republicans. During an appearance on CNN Thursday morning, the Pennsylvania lawmaker admitted that his decision to leave Congress was at least partially due to Trump. Asked by host Poppy Harlow how much of a factor the president played in his impending retirement, Dent conceded that Trump did have a hand in the move. “In my case, I would say the president was a factor but not the factor for me deciding to leave,” he said. “I had been thinking about leaving Congress since 2013, and since the [government] shutdown I thought it might be time to move on, and those are part of reasons.” Dent also predicted that the GOP will likely face major losses in the House of Representatives due to the unpopularity of the president. “We are in a challenging mid-term environment,” the Republican congressman stated. “The party of the president typically loses 32 seats in a situation like this. Of course then, Donald Trump, you know, he complicates that because he’s a very polarizing figure, and I suspect our challenges will be even greater just because of that.” Recent polls show that Democrats hold a double-digit lead on a generic congressional ballot. Meanwhile, the president’s job approval is currently mired in the 30s. Watch the clip above, via CNN. [image via screengrab] — Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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