Adding to Donald Trump's impeachment worries are reports that Republicans are putting distance between themselves and the embattled president.
According to the Wall Street Journal, support for the president among GOP lawmakers is waning in light of his phone call with the president of Ukraine -- which set in motion the House beginning an impeachment inquiry -- and then his decision to hold next year's G7 conference at one of his golf resorts -- a decision he later abandoned.
According to the Journal, "Mr. Trump’s support within his party will face fresh tests this week, as key witnesses from the State Department and Pentagon are expected to testify in closed hearings before a trio of House committees on the president’s dealings with Ukraine."
"Private criticism from Republican lawmakers about Mr. Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 summit at his own property, in Florida, helped prompt the president’s reversal, White House officials said," the report continues. "White House aides privately told the president his foreign-policy agenda would be overshadowed at the summit by the controversy. Republicans also phoned the White House on Thursday to complain that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s comments about aid to Ukraine made it more difficult to defend the president, the officials said."
More concerning to Trump is the fact that few lawmakers are willing to go out on a limb and defend the president exactly for the reason that Mulvaney's attempts backfired spectacularly.
"Republicans are making clear to the White House that it is becoming harder to justify blanket support for the president in the wake of recent events," the report states, leading GOP strategist Rick Tyler to explain that White House is attempting to mount a defense of Trump but the Republicans are demurring.
“What you have in recent days are landfills of toxic talking points,” Tyler -- who helped run Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 2016 presidential campaign -- stated. “It’s systematic mismanagement.”
To buttress the point, the Journal reports that the White House became immediately aware that Mulvaney's stab at presenting the President's case last Thursday before the press failed spectacularly, with White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham telling the acting White House chief of staff, "There’s a couple things we’re going to have to clean up."
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