Capitol Hill Republicans are privately conceding that House Democrats are “winning the narrative” on impeachment, a Politico correspondent reported on MSNBC Friday evening.
Politico congressional reporter Melanie Zanona was interviewed by Brian Williams on “The 11th Hour” about the breathtaking testimony from Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was cheered at the conclusion of her televised testimony before Congress.
“Melanie Zanona, when applause breaks out in a committee room on Capitol Hill, we know Republicans may have a problem,” Williams noted. “Republican questioners started lining up to say at the start of their questioning, ‘We thank you for your service.’ This is getting tougher for them. What have you gleaned from them in your reporting this afternoon?”
“You’re absolutely right, it was not a coincidence that they went out of their way to thank her for her service,” Zanona replied.
“That’s because they plotted yesterday to not directly attack her. They didn’t want to play into the Democrats’ hands and make her a sympathetic figure,” she explained.
There was, however, a fatal flaw in the GOP plan.
“The problem is that the president came in mid-hearing with a tweet and blew up their entire strategy,” Zanona noted.
“Republicans that I talked to were absolutely dumbfounded that he would do this,” she reported. “In fact, one Republican wouldn’t even talk to me about it. We sort of caught eyes as he was walking out of the House chamber and he immediately whipped out his phone and I could see his home screen was on, he was clearly not on the phone, he was just avoiding me even as I ran after him.”
“It goes to show Republicans will time and time again lay the groundwork for these carefully orchestrated plans and the president will come in and blow it up. And there really are limits to his ‘trust my gut’ instincts when it comes to the impeachment defense,” she explained. “It makes it harder and harder for Republicans to defend him. Not only that but now you have Democrats on Capitol Hill talking about adding witness intimidation to a potential article of impeachment.”
Zanona gave her analysis of the situation.
“This was just a terrible morning for Republicans. Privately they do concede that. They feel like Democrats are winning the narrative here,” she reported.