“I have the highest regard for them and they’re my close friends,” he told CNN. “I didn’t want to be a further distraction for the group.”…

He told CNN he had attended a House Freedom Caucus board meeting before House votes on Monday night to announce he would step aside from both the board and the group as a whole. The other members didn’t know he would be going to the meeting.

“It was a positive meeting. It wasn’t negative,” Amash said.

He emphasized his decision was voluntary and that he remains on good terms with his colleagues.