Referring to his colleagues in the House of Representatives, he said, “I think [Trump] has probably exceeded their expectations, frankly.”
Massie then repeated his prior praise of Trump’s action on the TPP, and accused his colleagues of not giving Trump enough credit for the move.
“You don’t hear that mentioned much because probably a lot of Republicans weren’t with him on that, and none of the Democrats want to give him credit for it.”
In the Washington Examiner article, Massie is described as an ‘early Trump supporter’. Although Massie initially endorsed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in the primary, he went on to endorse Trump just three days after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and quickly became Trump’s most enthusiastic libertarian supporter in Congress. By contrast, Sen. Paul only gave Trump a reluctant, partisan endorsement, while Michigan Rep. Justin Amash chose to align himself with the ‘Never Trump’ movement. Trump ultimately won Massie’s congressional district by a margin of 35.9% of the popular vote, making it one of the most pro-Trump districts in the United States.
After the election, Paul came over to Massie’s approach, quickly aligning himself with Trump’s ‘America First’ message and striking a friendship with Trump, while not refraining from trying to hold the President accountable to conservative values. Meanwhile, Amash has presented himself as a vehement opponent of Trump’s administration, and has subsequently received a primary challenge threat from the administration.
Massie’s remarks in the article contrast with the more pessimistic comments of Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who like Amash, is a libertarian-leaning Trump critic who has also received a primary challenge threat from the President. Sanford stated that Trump’s first 100 days were “represented by ups and downs” and said noted “some of the dead ends, blind alleys have been less productive.” While Sanford endorsed Trump in a mid-August op-ed in the New York Times, he used the opportunity to pan Trump’s personal style and back the Clinton campaign’s demands for the release of the then-Republican nominee’s tax returns.