President Donald Trump and his allies are growing angry at Senate Republicans for failing to push back on the House impeachment inquiry.
The president's close advisers have pushed for GOP senators to hold hearings and call witnesses as counterprogramming to the Democratic-led investigation in the House, but they're frustrated with their Republican allies in the Senate, reported The Daily Beast.
Sources who've spoken with Trump recently say the president remains confident the Republican-led Senate would acquit him if the House impeached, but his team is growing worried about the damage he would accrue along the way.
That's why they're frustrated that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other Trump allies in the Senate haven't held hearings to investigate Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory involving Ukraine -- which prompted the president's corrupt scheme that Democrats are now probing.
"Senate Republicans don't have to defend Trump on everything, they just have to do their jobs,” said one senior Trump operative. “Part of that is holding hearings, calling witnesses, and forcing testimony on the misdeeds we already know about — Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 election against Trump, the Clinton campaign paying foreign sources to fabricate a dossier against Trump, the politically driven Kavanaugh smear campaign, the son of the former vice president influence-trading overseas, Adam Schiff trying to obtain dirt on Trump from the Ukrainian embassy, and more. What good is controlling half of Congress if Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff get to run the whole show anyway?"
Trump has been asking confidants why GOP lawmakers won't act more like Tom Fitton, the Judicial Watch chief whose Fox News appearances draw frequent approving tweets from the president, according to sources who've spoke with Trump in the last two weeks.
“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump said Monday during a Cabinet meeting. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election.”
The White House hasn't done much to show Senate Republicans what they want done to defend the president, according to Capitol Hill insiders.
“It’s amazing that people are attacking Senate Rs,” said one top Senate GOP aide. “The White House has literally no pushback to what the House is doing. No war room, nothing.”
Another Republican aide confirmed that account, and said GOP senators aren't interested in coming up with their own strategy to protect the president from an impeachment process that's growing in public support.
“As far as I know, there are no emissaries on the Hill telling us what to say on this,” said one senior Senate GOP aide. “I'm not going to rule out any work on our side in terms of looking into other things that are sort of adjacent to the investigations going on. But there is just not a lot of appetite among Senate Republicans. They are not very enthusiastic about defending the indefensible on this stuff.”