While some House Republicans are doing all they can to derail impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump by storming and disrupting a closed hearing, the Washington Post reports that close aides to the president are looking at the long game and lamenting they have no one capable of mounting a public defense of Trump.
With Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani sidelined with his own legal problems as he is investigated by the Justice Department and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney proving ineffective after two television appearances, some staffers are worried they are losing the public relations battle.
“Trump has complained in recent days that no one is forcefully defending him and convened with House Freedom Caucus lawmakers Tuesday at the White House before they barged into the secure room, according to lawmakers and aides familiar with the meeting. Trump told them to take more aggressive steps to block the investigation, these people said,” the report states. “He has also sought more aides to go on TV and defend him. But the administration reversed course on hiring Trey Gowdy, who would have been a TV-heavy lawyer.”
According to the report, Giuliani has been asked to curtail his TV appearances, and, as bad as the former New York mayor has been, the president has no name-brand advocate to hit the airwaves and defend him.
“Trump advisers say Rudy Giuliani has been asked to tone down his appearances in recent days and has done so. And many other aides are leery of going on TV because they do not know the facts, current and former administration officials said,” the Post reports.
Speaking anonymously, a Trump aide who regularly meets with the president confided, “We are getting crushed right now.”
According to the report, the lack of a consistent response has been hampered by infighting at the highest levels, with no one able to agree on a plan to fight back.
“Turmoil within the West Wing has further complicated the impeachment response effort. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has faced calls for his ouster after a meandering news conference last week in which he undercut Trump’s denials of a ‘quid pro quo’ for aid to Ukraine,” the report notes. “White House aides have complained that White House counsel Pat Cipollone has not shared information with others in the West Wing. Mulvaney and Cipollone have butted heads during the process, officials said. Trump has spearheaded his own impeachment defense, regularly confounding or undercutting his allies with incendiary tweets and statements.”
Meanwhile, the Post reports that support for impeachment continues to grow with a Quinnipiac University poll, released on Wednesday, showing 55 percent of voters now supporting the impeachment inquiry.
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