On Thursday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former George W. Bush National Security Council official and GOP strategist Kori Schake blasted President Donald Trump for trying to extort Ukraine into interfering with the 2020 election — as well as her fellow Republicans for sitting idly by.
"I feel like people currently holding public office, especially in Congress, ought to be our first line of reaction," Schake told anchor Alisyn Camerota. "And I’m surprised that so few of my fellow Republicans are willing to actually publicly hold the president accountable to standards of behavior. For example, Secretary Pompeo set an excruciatingly high standard for one of his predecessors, Secretary Clinton, in terms of accountability to Congress, and he doesn’t appear at the moment to be holding himself to the same standard. And I think that’s bad for democracy in America."
"Why are they doing that?" asked Camerota.
"You know, I ask myself that very often," said Schake. "But I do have the sense that the dynamic is changing, because the evidence presented by the whistleblower and confirmed in the transcript — not transcript, the account of the call that the White House released — is actually really dangerous behavior for an elected official, particular for the president of the United States to be engaged in.
"What do you wish that, say, Secretary Pompeo or any of the Republicans in Congress would say?" Camerota pressed her.
"I wish they would say that we entrust the president of the United States with an enormous amount of responsibility, and that to use his office for purposes of domestic political politicking and to encourage other countries, in particular America’s allies and in particular countries that rely on the United States for their security or assistance in their security, for the president to try and manipulate those relationships for domestic political gain, is bad for democracy in America," said Schake.
"And from your read of the transcript, of the phone call with the president of Ukraine and President Trump, is it crystal clear to you what happened?" asked Camerota.
"Well, it — yes," said Schake. "It is clear that the president of the United States was attempting to encourage a foreign head of state to come up with information that could be damaging to a potential political rival. And that’s terrible conduct. It’s disgraceful conduct. And it’s possibly even unconstitutional conduct by the president of the United States."