Former US congressman Joe Walsh has ended his long shot campaign to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

Calling the current Republican party “a cult” of obeisance to Trump, he urged voters of all stripes to rid the White House of the man elected in a shock result in 2016, when they go to the polls in November.

Appearing on CNN on Friday morning and announcing he was dropping out, Walsh said: “Donald Trump is the greatest threat to our republic right now.”

He added: “The rest of this country needs to come together to stop this guy, period.”

Walsh, 58, a conservative talk radio host, served one term as a representative of Illinois.

On the campaign trail recently, he said: “Every time I’m out there talking primarily to Republican voters, because that’s what I’m trying to do, there are a lot of Republicans that get angry at me and we get threats every day and it can get ugly.”

He added: “But I’m always amazed at the number of Republicans who tell me, ‘I like some of the things Trump’s done, Joe, but I’m exhausted with Trump.’ Every day it’s the Donald Trump show. So I think I have an opportunity to do better than people think and I hope I can do that in Iowa.”

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