At least half of those writers are now on the record making supportive comments about the president. Some, including Mr. Erickson and Mr. Beck, now fiercely defend Mr. Trump, joining many former foes who are speaking out loudly against the impeachment inquiry. Others who contributed to the issue like Ed Meese, the attorney general under Ronald Reagan, has helped Mr. Trump plan his transition and build his administration.
The “Never Trump” taint still lingers three and a half years later. National Review’s editor, Rich Lowry, said that, regrettably, that week’s magazine was remembered as the “Never Trump” issue. “I wish they’d never come up with that phrase,” he said. Mr. Lowry, who spent three weeks recruiting and assigning writers for the issue, still does not shy away from publishing or writing pieces that are harsh toward the president. But he acknowledges that Mr. Trump has helped conservatives like him “stress test your assumptions,” and has forced him to rethink issues like the need to take a tougher approach with China.
“Had I known this was going to be perceived as the bible of the anti-Trump movement, I never would have written it,” said L. Brent Bozell III, who in his National Review essay wrote, “Trump might be the greatest charlatan of them all.” He now counts himself as a Trump convert.