On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," correspondent Dana Bash broke down how President Donald Trump is failing to control the narrative of the Ukraine scandal — and how Republicans are struggling whenever they try to do so.
"You remember during the Russia investigation, the president successfully set the narrative by calling it a 'hoax' and a 'witch hunt,'" said Bash. "He's trying to do the same thing now, but some Republicans on Capitol Hill tell us that this is different. That they are very worried that the president, and even some top White House aides, don't get that. 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' investigation will uncover. Along with the GOP fear, frustration with the president. Performances like today's in the Oval Office."
She played a clip of Trump calling the whistleblower "so dishonest" and their actions "a fraudulent crime on the American people."
"His rambling, shoot-from-the-hip comments, his stream of consciousness tweets- not exactly an anti-impeachment road map for his fellow Republicans," said Bash. "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."
"To be sure, lots of Trump GOP allies eagerly came out to defend the initial bombshell, the transcript summary of the president asking Ukraine's leader to do him a favor and investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden," added Bash. "But GOP spin on behalf of Trump is not aging well, especially when confronted about facts about the call."
She played clips of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arguing with CBS' Scott Pelley about whether the transcript included the word "though," and CNN's Jake Tapper telling Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that he can't just assume that the whistleblower "didn't like the president."
"Plus, repeated brazen threats from the president did compel Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, a longtime champion of whistleblowers, to release a statement warning no one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts," said Bash. "Also noteworthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who rarely grants interviews. This week he did, declaring if the House impeaches the president, the Senate will have no choice but to start a trial."