The normalization of President-elect Donald Trump continues on Capitol Hill, where Congressional Republicans received red baseball hats reading “Make America Great Again”—Trump’s campaign slogan—in a conference meeting on Tuesday.
Despite reported internal conflict on Trump’s transition team, conservative lawmakers seem to be falling in line on cue, emerging from a private meeting with hats on heads and re-nominating Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as speaker. GOP Conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) placed the hats on every chair in the room ahead of the session.
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“Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan said at a press conference. “This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people.”
Ryan’s turnaround on Trump contradicts his stance during the election, when he criticized the GOP’s then-nominee for proposing a ban on Muslims and insulting the gold star Khan family; bragging about sexually assaulting women; and refusing to outright reject the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan, among other things.
But the speaker seemed unfazed by his own about-face. “If we are going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold and we have to go big,” he said Tuesday. Ryan has notably refused to denounce the appointment of alt-right media mogul Stephen Bannon to chief strategist, despite his history of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as a personal vendetta against Ryan for criticizing Trump during the campaign.
In fact, according to Politico, Bannon has already gotten to work at softening his image among GOP lawmakers:
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