GOP Gov. Hutchinson Considering 2024 Presidential Run, Says Trump Is ‘Risk to the Nation’

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday he is “laying down the foundation” for a possible 2024 presidential run that could see him face off against former President Donald Trump.

The Republican governor said that testimony given to the House Jan. 6 committee over the past three weeks has shown that Trump “acted irresponsibly” and was a “risk to the nation.”

“That’s not the behavior we want to see in a responsible president,” he told CBS Mornings. “I will not be supporting him for 2024.”

Hutchinson added that Trump lacked the traits needed to be an effective leader and that the former president “has disqualified himself” to lead the country based on his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.

“We have to go in a different direction for our country, for my party,” he said. “I want to be a voice for commonsense conservatism, and we’ll see how that resonates.”

Hutchinson, who is term-limited and is not seeking reelection, said he has been preparing for a possible White House bid, testing the waters to see “if that is something that is going to be helpful to our country.”

“No decision will be made until after this election in 2022,” he added.

Hutchinson criticized Trump for being a threat to democracy and to “our institutions of government” and chided the former commander in chief for being “politically” and “morally” responsible for the Jan. 6 riot, but stopped short of saying he was criminally negligent.

“They are trying to make a case that there’s criminal conduct on behalf of the president,” Hutchinson said. “I question whether they have made that case. I don’t believe they have. I don’t know whether they can, but the Justice Department is watching that, and we’ll see how that develops. But at this point, they have not made that criminal conduct case, in my judgment.”

The governor also weighed in on former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinsonand her Tuesday testimony before the House select committee. He said he believed her and found her testimony to be “very compelling.”

“She came across with a great deal of credibility,” he said, adding that he understood the difficulty of “someone being 25 and being thrust into that incredible closeness to history” and having the courage to stand up to something she understood to be fundamentally wrong.

“My heart goes out to those that stood really firm at that time, and I think [Hutchinson] clearly demonstrated her concern and love for our country,” he said.

Hutchinson testified for two hours that Trump was irate by efforts to keep his armed supporters from attending his speech before many of them marched to the Capitol. The one time White House intern said she grew disgusted by Trump’s refusal to stop the rioters.

On Friday, Trump attacked her credibility and said on his social networking platform Truth Social that she wanted to work for him after the Jan. 6 attack.

“Cassidy Hutchinson also forgot to tell the Unselects that she was desperate to go to Florida with certain others of the Trump staff, long after January 6th had come and gone,” he wrote. “If I was so evil, why did she fight so hard to stay a part of the MAGA team? This is all documented in writing.”

Reporting by The Washington Examiner.