Former Republican congressmen warn colleagues time is running out on standing up to Trump: ‘Legacies will be formed’
Former Republican congressmen Jolly and Dent/Screenshot

Why is it that Republicans are willing to call out President Trump's lies and conspiracy theories only when they're headed for the door?


CNN's Don Lemon asked two former Republican congressmen on Thursday night, asking them why people like Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy are willing to speak up once they're headed for retirement.

"It''s like leaving office is some kind of truth serum for lawmakers," said Lemon.

David Jolly and Charlie Dent both said Republicans need to do more to stand up.

"When you're talking about national security, these fake allegations of SpyGate, and when you're talking about simply matters of integrity coming out of this White House, questions of integrity on broad social issues of race and gender and so-forth, more members of congress need to speak out. Their legacies will reflect whether they speak out out not," Jolly said. "A number of Republicans have made a deal with the devil... they're willing to accept Trumpism if they get the policy results in return."

Dent said Republicans need to stand up to Trump when he starts talking about the "deep state" and other conspiracy theories.

"More members need to do this, it's the right thing to do," Dent said. "We're all going to be judged sooner or later about how we acted during this time."

"Republicans had courage when Barack Obama was in office, they have no courage now," Jolly said.

Why are Republicans so loathe to stand up to Trump?

Because Trump runs the party, Jolly said.

"Ultimately it is a test of leadership and personal fortitude," Jolly said. "Legacies will be formed by whether or not more Republicans speak out while they're in office before they're leaving."

Watch below.