John Katko is done with Donald Trump

by 24USATVJan. 13, 2021, 11 p.m. 18
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As Donald Trump emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016, U.S. Rep. John Katko wouldn't commit to supporting him for president.

Katko, R-Camillus, had his concerns about Trump's rhetoric. But there were also political considerations. Unlike other Republican members of Congress, Katko represents a district with more registered Democrats than GOP voters. Jumping on the MAGA bandwagon, while in the midst of his first reelection bid, may have been risky.

But the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" video made it an easy decision for Katko. The video, which features Trump making crude comments, generated plenty of outrage. It was the last straw for Katko. He announced that he would not vote for Trump and called on the GOP nominee to drop out of the presidential race.

In a Facebook post weeks before the 2016 election, Katko wrote that Trump "has not and will never earn my vote."

For the first few years of Trump's term, Katko kept his distance from the president. But he built good relationships with some members of the administration. Vice President Mike Pence joined him for a tour of Nucor Steel in Auburn. Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser and the president's daughter, participated in an education roundtable in Syracuse. Dr. Ben Carson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, visited Syracuse to discuss lead poisoning.

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