Learn English – What does “consequence-free chance” mean


I read this sentence on TIME (Oct.23 2017),

Having announced that he will retire at the end of 2018, Corker, once a key Trump ally, could emerge as a leading check on some of the President’s worst impulses. As enduring as Trump’s support is among his shrinking base, the war of words was a reminder that rest of the GOP would turn on Trump in a minute if given a consequence-free chance.

I don't understand the meaning of the "consequence-free chance", will somebody please be kind enough to explain it?

Best Answer

"Chance" here is used in its sense of "opportunity."

"Consequence-free" is a compound adjective meaning "without any harmful result."

Thus, a "consequence-free chance" means an "opportunity [to act] without any result that may harm [the actor]."