- Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Trump should “step aside” from the 2024 GOP presidential primaries.
- “It is a distraction,” the Arkansas political figure said of Trump’s indictment by the Manhattan DA’s office.
- Trump has previously said he would not leave the presidential race if he were to be indicted.
Former Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas on Friday said former President Donald Trump should “step aside” from the 2024 presidential race after his indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
During an appearance on Fox Business, Hutchinson — who continues to mull a presidential campaign of his own — pointed to the integrity of serving in elected office as he spoke of the former president’s criminal inquiry.
Trump was indicted following an investigation related to hush-money payments made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in advance of the 2016 presidential election, which he won over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“When a public official is indicted, I think with regard to the office, the office is more important than the person and they should step aside. That standard should apply here. It is a distraction,” Hutchinson said on the network.
“It is not a good day for America, but the system has to play out here and we have to have confidence that it can,” he continued.
Hutchinson, a former US attorney and congressman, remarked that he would not have brought forth charges related to the 2016 payment.
“This is a case that I would not have brought based on the facts that I understand. It doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.
“[The charges] better be very substantive if he wants to make his case in a way that does not seem simply political,” he added.
Hutchinson indicated he would announce his intentions for 2024 in the coming weeks.