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The first Black chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, is joining the anti-Trump group Lincoln Project, which endorses Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and is working to oust the president's supporters in Congress.
JEFF FLAKE JOINS OVER TWO-DOZEN FORMER GOP MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO LAUNCH 'REPUBLICANS FOR BIDEN'
"The chair behind the Resolute Desk has always been bigger than any political party," Steele said in a statement Monday. "Sadly, we have witnessed its occupant devolve into preying upon fears and resentments with narcissism that nurtures only chaos and confusion."
Steele will assume the role of senior adviser to the group, led by current and former establishment Republicans. The Lincoln Project, which claims former President Abraham Lincoln as its inspiration, has skewered Trump on social media and in ad campaigns including "Mourning in America," a riff on former President Ronald Reagan's popular 1984 reelection spot "Morning in America."
Steele made history as the first Black person to be elected to statewide office in Maryland, where he served as lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, and led the RNC from 2009 to 2011. That period included the Tea Party wave of 2010 when the GOP won back the House in a landslide victory.
Steele's arrival comes as George Conway, an outspoken critic of President Trump, leaves the group to “devote more time to family matters.”
Conway's departure was timed with that of his wife, Kellyanne Conway, from the White House, where she has been one of Trump's longest-serving aides. Conway, who is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention, has said she will leave her post as White House counselor next month.
Steele represents a growing number of Republicans breaking ties with their party to champion Biden's campaign against Trump. A decline in the president's poll numbers, meanwhile, has hurt Senate Republicans in close races, including Susan Collins in Maine and Thom Tillis in North Carolina.
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On Monday, before the kickoff of the week-long RNC Convention, more than two-dozen former GOP members of Congress announced their support for “Republicans for Biden,” a new effort by the Democratic presidential nominee's campaign to engage potential party supporters this November.
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