“Trump is trying to use the trial to do what Ukraine wouldn’t—destroy his political rivals.”
After President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday completed the second day of their impeachment defense—which largely consisted of attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter—Republican Sen. Joni Ernst told reporters that she is “really interested to see” how team Trump’s performance at the Senate trial “informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers.”
Ernst’s remarks, which came just a week before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, were widely viewed as an open admission that Trump’s attorneys and the Republican Party are using the Senate impeachment trial as an opportunity to damage Biden at the polls.
“This is saying the quiet part out loud,” tweeted MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake, a sentiment that was echoed by others.
“Here is Joni Ernst screaming the quiet part into a bullhorn,” said Kaili Joy Gray, executive editor of The American Independent, said in response to the Iowa Republican’s comments.
ERNST: “IA caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Demcaucus goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?”
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 28, 2020
Ernst’s comments run counter to the longstanding White House and Republican narrative that Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations—for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives last month—was a genuine attempt to root out corruption, not a politically motivated ploy to harm Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Like Ernst, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) also invoked the presidential election following hours of arguments by Trump’s defense team, which includes Pam Bondi, Eric Herschmann, Alan Dershowitz, and Ken Starr.
“I was watching Elizabeth [Warren] and Bernie [Sanders] and Michael [Bennet] and Amy [Klobuchar] and they were really eyes wide open during that part of it,” Barrasso told reporters, referring to Trump attorney Pam Bondi’s presentation, which heavily focused on Biden an his son.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said as he watched “Bondi and the other Trump lawyers spend most of the day savaging the Bidens (as expected)… it become crystal clear to me: Trump is trying to use the trial to do what Ukraine wouldn’t—destroy his political rivals.”
GOP’s Susan Collins faces tough re-election fight as support plummets following vote to acquit Trump
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, appears to be facing the toughest election of her career, with her support plummeting in a new poll.
Collins is in a virtual tie with Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, one of four Democrats running to face the GOP incumbent, according to a new Colby College poll first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Gideon leads the Democratic field in the poll by more than 50% and is the overwhelming favorite to face the Republican in November.
Sanders hits Bloomberg with ‘grotesque’ statistic: Billionaire owns more wealth than bottom 125 million Americans combined
"That's wrong. That's immoral. That should not be the case when we got half a million people sleeping out on the street."
On the Democratic presidential debate stage in Las Vegas Wednesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders cited a striking statistic to show just how "grotesque" billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg's level of wealth is, particularly in a nation struggling to combat homelessness, the student debt crisis, and other major issues.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe shreds Bloomberg for flunking ‘politics 101’ in first debate
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough buried Mike Bloomberg's first presidential debate performance, and thumped big-name Democrats who saw him as the party's political savior.
The "Morning Joe" host said the billionaire and former New York City mayor seemed terribly unprepared for the attacks against his lengthy business and political record, and Scarborough said Bloomberg failed at the most basic skills.
"I think for Democratic professionals who saw this guy as their political savior to save them from Bernie Sanders, they had to be disappointed last night because he was bad in politics 101," Scarborough said. "They'll forgive a candidate that can beat Donald Trump for just about anything, but you're right, it's called a pivot."