Former Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele cautioned Republicans against sacrificing themselves on the altar of President Donald Trump the way Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) already has.
In an MSNBC discussion, host Katy Tur cited a Politico report saying the top Republicans the White House is most concerned about are not the typical people like Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT) or Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Republicans who are avid supporters of the president, but who are facing difficult reelection campaigns (Corey Gardner and Thom Tillis) in 2020 are the biggest concerns for the GOP`.
Steele explained that the less partisan the case against Trump is, the more dangerous it is for Trump because it gives cover to any Republicans willing to break ranks. As a result, Republicans are putting pressure on these members to keep their mouths shut, he said.
“Do they believe that the impeachment inquiry so far is going forward in a non-partisan way? I mean do they read those transcripts and see them as partisan documents?” Tur asked.
“Of course they do!” Steele replied. “It is the only way they can read it. They cannot read it in any other light than that. When you have someone like a Lindsey Graham saying, ‘I’m not even going to waste my time reading these transcripts,’ that is the signal that’s already been given and baked into this process that particularly for the jurors, the senators, Republican senators, that they’re going to come to this with a very jaundiced view of this evidence. In the House, certainly, we saw already the wall that was created in the vote, to open up this process. Republicans stood strong against that. So, yes, they’re not going to take any of this credibly. They’re going to try to paint it as wholly partisan, as a witch hunt.”
The “X-Factor,” according to Steele, are these silent Republicans, who are unwilling to comment and actually look at the evidence available and make a non-partisan decision.
“They are listening,” Steele continued. “They’re talking to Democrats who serve on those committees if they don’t happen to be a member of those committees. They’re trying to get their own independent assessment of the facts here. At the end of the day, Katy, this boils down to what position, what posture do you want to be in going into 2020 and just how much are you willing to die on the hill of Donald Trump. Clearly, the Lindsey Grahams not only committed suicide but they started cutting off their own body parts to prove their loyalty.”
See the discussion below:
GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.
Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.
"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."
Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.
White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."
Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.
Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.
Can the Constitution stop the government from lying to the public?
When regular people lie, sometimes their lies are detected, sometimes they’re not. Legally speaking, sometimes they’re protected by the First Amendment – and sometimes not, like when they commit fraud or perjury.
But what about when government officials lie?
I take up this question in my recent book, “The Government’s Speech and the Constitution.” It’s not that surprising that public servants lie – they are human, after all. But when an agency or official backed by the power and resources of the government tells a lie, it sometimes causes harm that only the government can inflict.