Trump's election lies are 'choking the life' out of the GOP: former RNC chairman
Former RNC Chair Michael Steele (screengrab)

MSNBC's Michael Steele said Donald Trump's election lies were "choking the life" out of the Republican Party.

A new poll shows 70 percent of Republican voters don't believe the former president was responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection, and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said they were driving GOP leadership away from holding the former president accountable for his attempt to overturn the election results.

"It's the rank-and-file of the Republican Party," Scarborough said. "They like living the lie when it comes to Jan. 6. They want to avert their eyes from the truth. They know the truth. They can live in the light, to paraphrase the Bible scripture, but they choose the darkness when it comes to Jan. 6."

Steele, the former head of the Republican National Committee, said Trump's election lies would eventually kill the party.

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"They do, and what is very sad and compelling about that is not only is the tail wagging the dog, it's choking the life out of the dog," Steele said. "And the reality of it is, the members, the leadership, have ceded the most important opportunity they have, and that is -- as we've seen at difficult times in the past when the John Birch Society tried to take a foothold in the party. When the party tried to lean all into the 'southern strategy' and there was resistance, that resistance now has been broken down, and we are where we are because this is where we want to be, and now, you know, unlike folks like yourself, Joe, who have left, those that remain like myself, are re-evaluating and evaluating and saying to themselves, okay, what's next. Denver Riggleman a former congressman for Virginia just this week said adios, so you're seeing the corpse rot in a way that the stench is it too great."

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