Republican Arizona speaker says he was called traitor after Jan. 6 testimony

Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) said Sunday that members of his party called him a traitor for testifying before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. 

Bowers told ABC’s Jonathan Karl during an interview broadcast on “This Week” that GOP critics also said they were ashamed of him and said “the price of treason is hanging.” 

Bowers told the Jan. 6 panel that former President Trump and his team asked him to rig the 2020 presidential election in Arizona. Trump then called Bowers “a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself, and he disgraced the state of Arizona.”

“The idea of throwing out the election of the president is like, okay, so what part of Jupiter do I get to land on and colonize?” Bowers quipped on Sunday.

Bowers also called Trump a “demagogue” and accused the former president of ruling “by thuggery and intimidation.” 

“I have thought, at times, someone born how he was, raised how he was — he has no idea what a hard life is. And what people have to go through in real — in the real world. He has no idea what courage is,” the Arizona governor said.

And Bowers theorized that Trump’s Republican Party has weaponized fear to maintain its base.

“They found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear.”