According to a report from the Daily Beast, Donald Trump and White House officials are sitting back and taking a "hands-off" approach to make sure former national security adviser John Bolton never testifies on the Senate floor, relying on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to squash any Republican rebellion.
While Trump has a well-documented history of attacking any Republican who dares cross him, during his Senate impeachment trial has held his fire -- at least in public -- letting McConnell and Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) do his dirty work.
"With lawmakers considering whether to call additional witnesses—including Bolton—there has been modest directive offered by White House aides about how to handle such a situation beyond talking points that could be deployed. The president has made his wishes known through his favorite medium—Twitter—and his legal team has argued against additional witnesses before the chamber," the Beast reports. "Additional signals have been public and not particular subtle, such as when Trump thanked senators attending a Wednesday trade deal signing. 'Maybe,' the president joked, 'I'm being just nice to them because I want their vote.'"
While there have been accusations Trump is working behind the scenes to keep senators in line -- with some stating the president is indulging in "jury-rigging" -- the reports states McConnell has taken the lead instead.
"It’s a strategy that the president’s team has been practicing for weeks, as The Washington Post reported. And it’s one they continue to believe will result in acquittal," the report notes. "Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a confidant of the president’s and a lead defender of his during the impeachment trial, said on Wednesday that Trump has had little contact with the Republicans who are weighing the fate of his presidency—a stark departure from the House process, when the White House was actively wooing GOP lawmakers with presidential face-time and other perks to shore up their standing."
According to a source close to the White House, using a nickname coined by an opponent of McConnell, the president is letting Kentucky Republican do what he does best, stating, "The thinking is to let Cocaine Mitch do his thing and get his people in line.”
The report goes on to note, "Despite the Bolton bombshells, the GOP line on witnesses has held. However, with the unpublished manuscript still looming and new information coming out every day, Trump and his allies are not out of the woods yet. "
You can read more here.