Virginia GOP Lt. Governor Calls Trump ‘Mission Accountable’


RICHMOND — Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, a Republican who traveled the country in 2020 to promote President Donald Trump’s re-election, said following this week’s midterm elections it was time for Trump to leave the political scene.

“What we saw was that even though he wasn’t on the ballot, he was, because he stepped in and endorsed candidates,” Earle-Sears said in Washington. Post Thursday. “And yet, it turns out that those he didn’t endorse on the same ticket did better than those he endorsed. This gives you a clue that voters want to move on. And a true leader knows when he has become a handicap for the mission.

Earle-Sears is the most senior Republican official in Virginia to break with Trump, who was deeply unpopular statewide but maintained a firm grip on the Republican Party base.

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She first made her position known in an interview on Fox Business earlier Thursday. His comments drew a stern rebuke from a Trump spokesperson, who issued a written statement.

“Winsome Sears led a wave of President Trump voters to election victory in 2021,” the statement read. “Her comments are a slap in the face to all the rank-and-file Republicans who worked so hard to get her elected. They won’t forget her and there will be accountability. There always is in politics.

Trump’s most prominent supporters in the state reacted in fury, vowing revenge on Earle-Sears and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who appears to be weighing a 2024 presidential bid. If he wins the White House , Earle-Sears would complete his term as governor.

Radio host John Fredericks, chairman of Trump’s 2016 and 2020 Virginia campaigns, said he believed Youngkin asked Earle-Sears to make the comments.

“If you think Winsome Sears did this without Glenn Youngkin’s approval, you’re being naïve,” Fredericks said. “It’s his salvo to run for president. Good luck beating Team Trump in Virginia. We’ll crush him in his own state.

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When asked if Youngkin knew in advance that she would publicly part ways with Trump, Earle-Sears declined to say.

“I’m not going to say ‘yes’ and I’m not going to say ‘no’,” she said. “I’ll just leave him alone.”

Spokespersons for Youngkin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A former state delegate and Marine, Sears, a Jamaican immigrant, served as Black American chairperson for re-election for president two years ago and won the lieutenant governorship last year on a ticket led by Youngkin.

“We have a lot of very qualified people” in addition to Trump to run for the White House, Earle-Sears said. When asked if she counted Youngkin among them, Earle-Sears did not answer directly.

“Well, you know I support the family,” she said with a chuckle. “I don’t endorse anyone.”

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Youngkin walked a tightrope with Trump as he sought to please the former president’s fans and haters alike, often mincing his words, avoiding political details and telegraphing a suburban dad vibe with his red vest brand.

Earle-Sears is his polar opposite, as outspoken as Youngkin is suspicious. Her signature campaign accessory was an assault rifle, strapped to her blouse and skirt in a photo pasted on campaign signs. Earle-Sears memorably used one of her high-heeled pumps to smack the Virginia Senate on command one day earlier this year after a prankster hid her gavel.

Earle-Sears said she still thinks highly of what Trump has done for black Americans, crediting her administration for increasing black entrepreneurship and decreasing black unemployment during his presidency.

“I was all over this country, campaigning for him, trying to win over black voters because he had done good for us,” she said. “But you know, eventually he lost and we moved on. And we were hoping he could move on as well.

Earle-Sears’ comments came a day after Del. Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) disavowed the self-appointed former president: “I should have said that two years ago,” he told the Virginia Mercury.

State Sen. Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield), a self-proclaimed “Trump in heels,” called Anderson and Earle-Sears “weak Republicans.”

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