Congressional Republicans aren't convinced President Donald Trump and the "clowns" who worked on his campaign team are smart enough "to pull off a high-level 'House of Cards'-style conspiracy," according to a new report.
GOP lawmakers generally think the media is overreacting to Trump's campaign ties to Russia, but even those who share some concerns are afraid to speak out and get smacked down by "party bosses" Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, reported The Atlantic.
“Some people are like, ‘This is bullsh*t, this is just an effort to undermine Trump,’ then some are like, ‘Trump needs to be removed from office,’" said one senior Senate aide. "It’s all over the place.”
Congressional Republicans and their staffers told the magazine they don't see the pattern of undisclosed meetings between the Trump team and Russian officials as anything more than bumbling ineptitude.
“I think most of us agree that if something did happen, it wasn’t anything malicious," one Senate aide said. "It’s just chalked up to them not being very smart. When people are pointing to Carter Page as someone who colluded, I don’t have any problem believing that."
"There are so many people who associate themselves with campaigns that are clowns,” the aide added.
Other Republicans suggested the Democrats and the media were hypocrites for focusing on Russia after dismissing GOP warnings during the Obama administration about Vladimir Putin's intentions.
“They discovered the Russian threat three seconds ago, and all of a sudden it’s the biggest threat to democracy ever,” said one congressional aide.
The Atlantic reported that congressional Republicans and their staff widely agree that they're already doing all they can to hold the president accountable.
“What do you expect us to do?” said one senior GOP aide. “I hear this with every little Tweet: ‘Oh, when are Republicans going to put an end to this?’ What do you want us to do, seize his Twitter account?”