Kasich: Sometimes Trump's statements 'don't resemble the facts'

Posted at 12:10 AM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 00:15:38-04

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who made himself one of President Donald Trump's most vocal Republican critics during the 2016 presidential election, wasn't willing to call the president a liar when asked at a CNN town hall Tuesday night.

"Sometimes (Trump) says things I don't agree with and I think they don't resemble the facts," he said during a debate with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another former presidential hopeful.

He was, however, willing to claim he had warned the Republican party -- and the American people -- of the scandal-ridden storm ahead.

Trump's presidency has been marked by widespread protest and resistance from sources both inside and outside the federal government, and Tuesday night saw a new explosion of controversy surrounding interactions with former FBI Director James Comey.

After speaking to Trump on February 14, Comey was so appalled by the request to end an investigation into former national security Michael Flynn that he wanted to document it, sources told CNN. Comey shared it with FBI senior officials, according to sources.

"The things that have swirled around this White House are the reasons that caused me to not move forward and support (Trump) both in the primary and going to that Republican convention," Kasich said.

Instead of voting for Trump in November 2016, Kasich said he wrote in the name of Arizona Sen. John McCain -- who, according to political commentator Ana Navarro, also spent part of Tuesday night criticizing the president. McCain, speaking at a dinner held by the International Republican Institute, didn't mince words.

"We've seen this movie before. It's reaching Watergate size and scale," he said. "This is not good for the country."

Kasich, however, avoided voicing judgment of the immediate situation to put forward a plea for bipartisanship. 

"This is not a time for Republicans to hide," he said, but added that it's also "not a time for Democrats to exploit."