Full List of Former Donald Trump Officials Refusing to Endorse Him

On March 12, Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 presidential election, following a series of primary wins.

However, a number of the most-prominent figures from Trump’s 2017 to 2021 administration are refusing to endorse him, and several have said they are actively working against his reelection.

Newsweek has compiled a list of some of the most-notable figures from the Republican’s first term in office who are refusing to support his 2024 presidential bid. Newsweek contacted representatives of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign for comment by email on Saturday, and this article will be updated if they decide to comment.

Mike Pence

Earlier this month, Mike Pence, who served as Trump’s vice president during his 2017 to 2021 administration, said he could not back him for a second presidential term “in good conscience.”

During a Fox News interview on March 15, Pence said: “It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year. During my presidential campaign, I made it clear that there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues.

“Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years. And that’s why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign,” Pence added.

Mark Esper

Mark Esper served as U.S. secretary of defense between July 2019 and November 2020. Speaking to CNN in July 2023, he said Trump is not “fit for office because he puts himself first, and I think anybody running for office should put the country first.”

James Mattis

James ‘Jim’ Mattis, a retired four-star general nicknamed ‘Mad Dog,’ served as secretary of defense from January 2017 to January 2019.

In a statement provided to Politico following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Mattis said Trump “will deservedly be left a man without a country.”

Referring to the then-president, Mattis added: “His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”

Mattis pointedly has not endorsed Trump as he runs for a second term in the White House.

John Kelly

Between July 2017 and January 2019, John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, served as Trump’s White House chief of staff.

Speaking to CNN in October 2023, Kelly described Trump as “a person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about.

“A person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.”

Asked about the prospect of a second Trump White House term, Kelly added: “God help us.”

Mark Milley

Mark Milley served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between October 2019 and September 2023. During his retirement speech, Milley said Trump was a “wannabe dictator.”

He added: “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America—and we’re willing to die to protect it.”

John Bolton

John Bolton, a prominent foreign-policy hawk, served as U.S. national security adviser from April 2018 until September 2019.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Jen Psaki in February, Bolton said there will be “celebrations in the Kremlin” if Trump is elected in November, adding: “Putin thinks that he is an easy mark.”

Earlier this month in a post on X, formerly Twitter, Bolton posted: “Donald Trump wants Americans to treat him like North Koreans treat Kim Jong Un. Get ready…”

Former president Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. A number of the top figures from the Republican’s first presidential administration are refusing to endorse him for a…


Cassidy Hutchinson

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide who worked as assistant to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before becoming a whistleblower, has claimed a second Trump term could threaten American democracy.

Speaking to ABC News in December, Hutchinson said: “If Donald Trump is elected president again in 2024, I do fear that it will be the last election where we’re voting for democracy because, if he is elected again, I don’t think we’ll be voting under the same Constitution.”

Stephanie Grisham

Stephanie Grisham served as chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump between April 2020 and January 2021.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper in October 2021, Grisham was asked if she voted for Trump in the November 2020 presidential election. She replied, “I did not,” and said she wrote in a different candidate whom she wouldn’t name.

Sarah Matthews

Between June 2020 and January 2021, Sarah Matthews worked in Donald Trump’s White House as his deputy press secretary.

She has since become a trenchant critic of her former boss, whom she claimed had a history of making “unhinged comments” during a recent interview with MSNBC’s Jen Psaki. During the same discussion, Matthews also said Trump “helped incite a deadly insurrection on our nation’s Capitol,” with reference to the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot.

Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci served as White House director of communications for just 10 days between July 21 and 31, 2017.

During a CNN appearance in January, Scaramucci said he would “100 percent” be voting for Biden in November as he views Trump as a threat to American democracy.

Referring to the presumptive Republican nominee, Scaramucci added: “This really is going to be a battle for the democracy, this one. He’s going to expand executive power. He’s going to make things rougher for people. He has already said he’s going after his adversaries using the Department of Justice.

“When someone’s telling you they’re going to flex and be a dictator on day one and go after their adversaries, this is against the 200-plus-year experiment of America,” Scaramucci said.

Alyssa Farah Griffin

Between April and December 2020, Alyssa Farah Griffin worked as White House director of strategic communications and assistant to the president.

During an appearance on ABC’s The View, which she co-hosts, Griffin said she “teared up” when she saw Pence had refused to endorse Trump for a second term.

Addressing her co-host, Griffin added: “The reason that I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump this year also has to do with the fact that he is walking away.

“Not just from keeping faith with the constitution on that day, but also, Margaret, with a commitment to fiscal responsibility, a commitment to the sanctity of life, a commitment to American leadership in the world.”