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Former Trump ambassador says the Jan. 6 hearings are ‘undoubtedly starting to take a toll’ on the former president’s popularity

A tweet from former President Donald Trump is shown on a screen at a hearing held by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on June 09, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Photo by Jabin Botsford-Pool/Getty Images

  • A former Trump ambassador said the hearings are having a “corrosive” effect on Trump’s popularity. 
  • The revelations are “all undoubtedly starting to take a toll,” Randy Evans told Politico. 
  • Trump is eyeing an early 2024 campaign announcement as soon as September. 

A former ambassador who served under President Donald Trump says the January 6 committee hearings are having a “corrosive effect” and are “undoubtedly starting to take a toll” on the former president’s support. 

“I think what everybody thought was that the first prime-time hearing was such a non-event that that would continue,” said attorney Randy Evans, who served as ambassador to Luxembourg under Trump, told Politico’s David Siders.

“But over the course of the hearings, the steadiness, the repetitiveness, has had a corrosive effect,” he said. “You’d have to be oblivious to the way media works, the way reputations work, the way politics works, to not understand that it’s never the one thing. It’s the accumulation.”

The committee’s seven hearings so far have featured scores of former Trump aides and others around him testifying about the intensity and brazenness of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, his attempts to pressure and strong-arm officials, and his knowledge of the violence that could break out on January 6. 

Evans added that it’s “all undoubtedly starting to take a toll — how much, I don’t know. But the bigger question is whether it starts to eat through the Teflon. There are some signs that maybe it has. But it’s too early to say right now.” 

Whatever effect the January 6 hearings have on Trump’s standing is yet to be fully realized, given that the committee’s investigation and public hearings are still ongoing. But some recent polls point to potential trouble for Trump as he inches closer to announcing a 2024 presidential run, possibly before the 2022 midterms in November. 

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that half of Republican voters want a Republican other than Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Nevertheless, Trump still led a hypothetical 2024 presidential field with 49% of the vote, followed by Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida at 25% and other Republicans in the single digits. 

Sarah Longwell, a Republican operative who frequently holds focus groups of GOP voters, told Politico that the January 6 hearings aren’t turning Republicans in her focus groups against Trump as much as they have “turned the volume up on the Trump baggage,” contributing to further voter fatigue and exhaustion. 

“I cannot tell you how much these Republican voters want to move on from the conversation of January 6th,” she said. 

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