Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is worried that President Donald Trump's foreign election interference scandal could cost Republicans control of the United States Senate in 2020.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) are facing tough re-elections contests. As is McConnell, who has been nicknamed "Moscow Mitch" in Kentucky for his dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
With the elections heating up, vulnerable Republicans are avoiding television interviews so they don't have to answer questions about the impeachment inquiry.
"Silence, that’s what you heard from most congressional Republicans this week as the investigation into President Trump and the Ukraine controversy ramped up. But as Republicans try to put their best spin on the whistleblower report and the Ukrainian phone call transcript, they face one tough obstacle, facts," CNN's Ana Cabrera reported Saturday.
"What you mostly hear from congressional Republicans on impeachment, is the sound of silence. GOP sources tell CNN they have a good reason for that, fear. They have no idea what else House Democrats investigating will uncover," CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash reported.
"His rambling, shoot from the hip comments, his stream of consciousness Tweets not exactly an anti-impeachment road map for his fellow Republicans," she explained. "In fact, a source involved in Senate GOP discussions tells CNN, 'He is taking it upon himself to tweet about every shiny object. That is not helpful right now.'"
Bash said the 'GOP spin on behalf of Trump is not aging well, especially confronted with facts about the call."
Control of the Senate may be at stake.
"Senate GOP sources say they’re bracing for more shoes to drop, a politically dicey waiting game for more than a handful of Senate Republicans on the ballot and potentially vulnerable in 2020. Cory Gardner in Colorado to Martha McSally in Arizona to Joni Ernst in Iowa, Susan Collins in Maine, to Tom Tillis in North Carolina. It’s not just their own political future at stake, but control of the Senate, which Republicans could lose with three or four seats, something Mcconnell is well aware of," Bash reported.
[caption id="attachment_1550398" align="aligncenter" width="800"] CNN graphic of vulnerable Republican senators (screengrab)[/caption]
"Several congressional Republicans we talked to complained that they’re getting very little guidance from the White House. They decided at the White House not to set up a war room, despite an initial flirtation with that. Instead, the emails and tweets and ads are coming out of the campaign, but people on the Hill we talk to say that that’s all well and good but with something this dire, it needs to come from the White House," she added.