Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Monday warned of recent “chilling” developments within the GOP which he fears could one day have a catastrophic effect on the country.

“We are in real danger here,” Friedman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Friedman feared people are being “lulled” by a false sense of security because of President Joe Biden’s lower-key administration and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But “our democracy is as threatened today” as it was when ex-President Donald Trump declared his intention to run for office, said Friedman, citing how most Republicans have in the last couple of weeks fallen in step with Trump’s 2020 election lies. Prominent holdouts Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) are the exceptions to the new Republican norm, he noted.

“Subscribing to the big lie that this election was stolen has become a prerequisite now for thriving, surviving and rising in this Republican Party,” said Friedman. “What does that mean? It means that this GOP is going to be built on a gigantic lie.” He asked how people could possibly trust the party in power if its calling card was baselessly claiming the 2020 vote was stolen.

“It’s happened like in the last couple of weeks, where everyone fell into line and people like (House Minority Leader) Kevin McCarthy – their willingness to politically prostitute themselves in order to, you know, get the Speaker of the House, it is breathtaking that someone would sell their soul that shamelessly,” said Friedman.

“It’s just chilling,” he added. “Now, imagine, if he would do that, what will they do once they’re in power to keep power? We are in real danger here.”

Watch the interview here:

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