Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described “congressional oversight” as “presidential harassment” in a press conference on Wednesday, and said holding the president accountable might backfire for Democrats.
Asked by a reporter “is there anything the Senate Republicans could or would do to help President Trump in the event that Democrats in the House attempt to seize his tax returns,” McConnell smirked.
“The whole issue of presidential harassment is interesting,” McConnell replied. “I remember when we tried it in the late ’90s. We impeached President Clinton: his numbers went up and ours went down.” He used the term a second time, saying that Democrats “will have to decide how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy.”
“Are you recommending that for House Democrats, that oversight that they have said they’re going to do might back fire on them?” another reporter chimed in.
“They’re not interested in my recommendations,” laughed McConnell. “I’m just making a historical observation that the business of presidential harassment, which we were deeply engaged in in the late 90s improved the president’s approval rating and tanked ours.”
Executive oversight is constitutional duty of Congress, and a key component of the United States’ system of checks and balances.
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Ex-GOP senator hammers lawmakers quaking in their boots out of fear of Trump: ‘Why are you there?’
Appearing on CNN on Wednesday morning, retired Sen. William Cohen (R-ME) hammered members of his own party still sitting in the Senate who refuse to take on Donald Trump, saying they are failing the country and themselves by standing by in fear.
Speaking with CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, Cohen said kowtowing to the president is nothing new, but has grown worse over the past ten years.
"Some of it has to do with external pressures, that of social media, talk radio, specific channels that have a particular view and then hammer that view home to the constituents who then pressure the members of Congress," he explained. "But you have to ask yourself: Why are you a senator? Why are you there? Are you acting out of sheer fear that if you speak up and take a position that's controversial you'll be punished?"
CNN’s Toobin unleashes hell on Trump’s ‘outrageous’ attacks on Stone jury
On CNN Wednesday, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid into President Donald Trump for his ongoing public attacks on the jurors who convicted his former campaign strategist and friend Roger Stone. Trump and his allies have been arguing that the verdict is invalid because the jury forewoman had a Twitter account in which she criticized the president.
"To be honest, I don't know what Judge Jackson is going to do. I don't really know how significant these statements are. So I wouldn't make a prediction about what she's going to do about the new trial situation," said Toobin. "But as for what the president said, it is so outrageous to attack jurors. I mean, these are ultimately private figures. They didn't volunteer. The judges, you know, need jurors. The legal system needs jurors. And the idea that the president would single out jurors repeatedly for criticism..."
Internet shreds ‘incompetent buffoon’ Trump for attack on media covering coronavirus
After two days of massive stock market declines over fears of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, President Donald Trump lashed out at CNN and MSNBC on Wednesday morning for reporting on the worldwide health hazard -- and was immediately slapped down on Twitter.
According to the president, who also announced a press conference to address the concerns his administration is bungling the response to the crisis, set for Wednesday night: "Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus (sic) look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!"