Kasich: This Is Why I Didn't Endorse Trump

May 17, 2017

Governor John Kasich says stories swirling around the White House show why he could not support the Trump campaign for president.

In a CNN town hall Tuesday night, with fellow 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Kasich urged U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to “be more aggressive” in speaking out about reports that Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn.

Flynn was Trump's original national security adviser, who was fired after his dealings with Russia came out in the press.

Late Tuesday, NPR reported that an associate of Comey's who is familiar with the matter confirmed the former FBI director memorialized the February 14 conversation with Trump in a memo he wrote immediately after their Oval Office conversation. The news was first reported by the New York Times.

“These investigations should not just be about the Comey memo,” Kasich said at the town hall, adding that investigations should also include probes into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. election.

“I’m just sad for the country because we have to get to the bottom of this," Kasich said. "And I believe this is not a time for Republicans to hide, and I also don’t think it’s time for Democrats to exploit."

Kasich offered one caveat, saying, “There is a learning process when you become president. There is a learning process for anybody.”

When asked if he thinks President Trump is a liar, Kasich said he wouldn't use that term, but he said some of Trump's comments “don't resemble the facts.”

Kasich caught the ire of many Republicans when he refused to endorse Trump after dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination for president.

During the campaign and in the months since, Kasich has gone to great lengths to portray himself as a centrist Republican willing to work with Democrats, especially on issues like Medicaid expansion and prison reform. He recently wrapped up a nationwide tour to promote his new book "Two Paths: America Divided or United."