With a determined Democratic majority House proceeding with making the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump, Politico reports that White House aides are flummoxed by how to respond because the president prefers to take the lead, leaving them without a game plan if things take a turn for the worse.
According to the report, it was expected that the Trump White House would set up a war room to battle daily revelations trickling out that are providing fodder for the Democrats to make their case -- but that hasn't happened.
"The impeachment fight under Trump is quickly surpassing the reach of the presidential impeachment battles under Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, swallowing even larger swaths of the federal government. The whistleblower complaint and the resulting investigative sprawl are making the probe harder for Trump and his White House to stamp out, with Democrats gaining new avenues to uncover damaging details that contradict Trump," the report by Nancy Cook states. "And a president who loves to be in control is increasingly finding himself out of it, left to lob angry tweets from the White House residence or the Oval Office as he and a handful of emissaries — such as personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — function as their own uncoordinated rapid-response operation."
According to a former deputy chief counsel for the Democratic staff of the House Oversight, Chris Lu, reliance on the for New York City mayor has been more of a detriment than a help.
“Every time Rudy Giuliani says something on TV, he lays out a new path for the Democrats to follow,” he explained.
Beyond that, White House staffers are adrift on what type of defense to put up because of disorganization due to the occupant of the Oval Office, and opinions vary on what to do about it.
"White House staffers remain divided on the necessity of such a centralized operation inside the West Wing to coordinate the political and press response to the impeachment inquiry," the report notes. "No one can decide who should run it, or how it should be structured, and the president continues to prefer to fight by leaning on his own public comments and Twitter feed."
With the White House floundering, the Republican National Committee -- along with Trump's re-election committee -- are stepping into the void with a "task force" of their own, built around selling the narrative that the impeachment is a "coup" led by Democrats.
"The Republican National Committee recently formed a 12-person impeachment task force to tackle the issue. Altogether, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee plan to spend $10 million on various ad buys to bolster the president and bash the Democrats," the report states.
Despite that, Politico notes, Trump's administration is faltering when it comes to defending the president against possible impeachment, with its inability to stem what appears to be a rising tide of whistleblowers coming forward with more claims that need to be disputed.
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