On MSNBC Saturday, former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele tore into Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) for his speech approving of lynching — and took shots at the rest of the GOP for staying silent about it.

“Does he understand or not understand the implication of those words?” asked anchor Alex Witt.

“Oh, he understands. He’s a grown man. He understands what comes out of his mouth,” said Steele, the first Black man to head up the GOP. “This is all part of the new rhetoric inside the party. This is a fun — this brother’s making money hand over fist right now and he’s out there fundraising and folks are cutting cash to him, and it’s a new grift at the expense of those that don’t look like him. Talking about an America that the rest of us are trying to move away from. We know our 400-year history in this country. We know what this — what we’ve been through and our respective communities and so now as voices rise up to try to set the record straight and to move the country in a better direction, you have these people sort of holding on.”

“What is frustrating to me is the continued deafening silence from members inside the party who I know don’t believe that, and you get the phone call, ‘oh, I can’t believe he said that,'” added Steele. “Can you find a bank of microphones and say that publicly? Don’t talk to folks privately. Take the stand. Sacrifice your seat and sacrifice your re-election for the principle that racism and hate is not a foundational idea any longer, that we are bigger and better than that. But they can’t, and it makes it hard to have these honest conversations when people want to have a retrofit of America to a bygone day that the rest of us know was not good.”

Watch below:

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