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:
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