Republicans in Washington are watching old friendships fall apart as differences over their party's nominee divide them, The Hill reports. "It's personal. It's painful. It's people you grew up with," said Matt Schlapp, former President George W. Bush's White House political director. "In politics, you make these really great, deep friendships because you work long hours and it's about issues that are important. When those relationships break, it's really heartbreaking."
A senior House Republican staffer who supports Donald Trump spoke anonymously with The Hill so his colleagues wouldn't find out where his allegiances lie. "I always felt that I would be viewed in a different light. I think they would have pegged me as being ... all the things the media has said about Trump. That he was a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe," he said.
The staffer added that he isn't alone in his secret support of Trump. "It's kind of like you're doing this little weird sort of dance around it. You haven't admitted to them that you're supporting the guy and they haven't admitted to you that they really like the guy. And you get to the point where you'll say, 'I kind of like what he says about this.' And they'll say, 'Well I kind of like that too!'"
Others who have been more vocal about their opinions of Trump have found themselves shunned. Schlapp felt his old friends grow uncomfortable when he arrived at a cocktail party and tried to approach them: "The conversation quickly ended," Schlapp recalled to The Hill. "Everyone looked down at their expensive loafers … I hadn't had that happen to me in a professional setting before. It's one of those moments when you wonder, 'Hey, do I have something on my face?'"