As the Trump-Russia collusion maelstrom reaches a head with revelations about Donald Trump, Jr.'s meetings with a Russian lawyer, Republican congresspeople seem decidedly uninterested in providing comment -- or in having to defend their president.
According to a New York Times report, GOP denial for comment or tacit (and toothless) defense of Trump Jr.'s actions appear to be a deliberate move to distance themselves from the president -- but it might end up doing the opposite.
The responses ranged from a "not right now" from Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA) to a "talk to others about politics" from Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Even Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), two of President Donald Trump's most outspoken Republican critics, were unusually tight-lipped about the Trump Jr. revelations.
“They’re problematic on its face,” Sen. Graham told the Times when asked about the newly-revealed Trump Jr. emails. “If you’re ever approached about getting help from a foreign government, the answer is no.”
“I’m not confident of anything,” McCain said when asked about how sure he was that no collusion had occurred. “More shoes will drop.”
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), another tacitly-critical Republican who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, refused comment due to the committee's ongoing investigation, and echoed his colleagues in saying he hopes Trump Jr. will come before the committee to clear the air.
The closest thing to a defense came from Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), who claimed Trump Jr. is "a very nice young man" who is "very dedicated to his father." He also claimed that the Trump childrens' dedication to their father is telling even though "he divorced their mothers."