Will's announcement was reported by the New York Times.
George F. Will, a conservative columnist and prominent Republican pundit for the past 40 years, said he has left the Republican Party because Donald J. Trump is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Mr. Will revealed his decision on Friday in an interview with PJ Media. He said he had switched his party registration to unaffiliated this month, adding that Republicans should “grit their teeth” during a Hillary Clinton presidency and then hope to beat her in 2020.
Mr. Will has criticized Mr. Trump throughout his presidential run.
“Only he knows what he is hiding by being the first presidential nominee in two generations not to release his tax returns,” Mr. Will wrote in his Washington Post column on Wednesday. “It is reasonable to assume that the returns would refute many of his assertions about his net worth, his charitableness and his supposed business wizardry. They might also reveal some awkwardly small tax payments.”
Mr. Trump has returned fire, denouncing Mr. Will often on Twitter and in his speeches.
“You know he looks smart because he wears those little glasses,” he said at a rally in November. “If you take those glasses away from him, he’s a dummy.”
For another view of Will's decision, see the following letter to the editor in the Daily Star (tucson.com) this morning.
Re: the June 23 column "Republicans: Turn your back on Trump and save your party."
Once upon a time George Will was the elder statesmen of independent and reasonable discourse. At some point several years ago, when he was losing market share, he became a vitriolic partisan hack for the Republican Party. His tone began to change from above the fray and somewhat reasonable to the heated rhetoric popular among today's right wing provocateurs.
Now he wants us to view him as an independent thinker by referring to "your" Republican party, as if he has not been relentlessly attacking and undermining the President and the Democratic party to partisan advantage. Will's rhetoric has provided the fertile soil for someone like Trump to emerge and become the standard bearer of your Republican Party.
Still, it is remarkable that the ultra-conservative columnist and confidante to Nancy Reagan would quit the GOP over its looming pick for a presidential candidate.