Some Republican leaders seem to tremble at the thought of publicly criticizing President Trump, even in the aftermath of his reaction to white supremacist groups, which critics viewed as supportive.

Former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, who is Black, said his conscience would not permit him to remain silent on Charlottesville.

“This is not a time for us to be afraid of being tweeted [by Trump]. This is not a time for us to suppress our convictions. I know a lot of those members of Congress and they don’t think like that,” said the Oklahoma Republican, who served as chair of the House Republican Conference from 1999 to 2003.

“However, if they are silent, they wear the cap, either intentionally or unintentionally, they wear the cap saying, ‘we agree with that.’ ”

Watts praised several Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, for disagreeing with Trump’s remarks on Charlottesville.

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