According to a report in Politico, senior White House advisers have warned President Donald Trump to hold his tongue when a Republican lawmaker criticizes him or one of his policies because he will need every vote he can get as the House considers articles of impeachment against him.
The report notes that Trump, known for lashing out at hs is critics on an almost daily basis on his Twitter account, has been uncharacteristically silent as of late when it comes to Republicans who have expressed concern about his dealings with Ukraine.
“The atypical approach by the president comes after some of his top Hill allies have been privately pleading with Trump not to attack Republicans as the impeachment probe enters its most high-profile phase yet, according to multiple GOP lawmakers and aides,” Politico reports. “These senior Republicans have argued that the strategy is more effective at keeping GOP members in line — especially when it comes to House Intelligence Committee Republicans, who are serving as Trump’s first line of defense on the Ukraine scandal.”
The report notes that the strategy appears to be working so far, based upon the efforts on Trump’s behalf by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) during Wednesday’s televised impeachment hearing.
Hurd, who is retiring is “a former CIA agent who sits on the panel, has openly expressed alarm over Trump seeking an investigation into Joe Biden in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky,” Politico points out, before adding, “But none of those concerns were on display at the hearing, with Hurd instead using his line of questioning to extract information from the witnesses about how the Trump administration has provided critical aid to Ukraine in previous years. Earlier in the week, Hurd even called for Hunter Biden to testify — an idea that has become popular with Trump and his most hardcore supporters.”
According to the report, that type of defense is the best Trump can hope for.
“It’s a time to unite — everybody understands that. And letting the facts come forward unites us,” explained one GOP lawmaker. “That’s what we tell Trump.”
That is not to say that Trump is completely holding his fire on Republicans, he’s just not naming names when he tweets.
After retiring Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) dubbed his Ukraine call “inappropriate” during a Sunday cable news interview, the president tweeted a generic, “Republicans, don’t be led into the fool’s trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable,” without mentioning the lawmaker.
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