President Donald Trump may have lost some of his grip as his stranglehold on the Republican Party seems to have weakened in the first days of 2020.
On Friday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) revealed that there she is working with a "small group" within her caucus seeking to allow witnesses in Trump's Senate trial.
That came one day after staunch Trump defender Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) broke with the White House and voted to force the administration to seek congressional approval for war with Iran.
Friday night, The Washington Post reported on Trump's reaction.
"It was a risky move that surprised the president and showed rare fissures in a Republican Party that Trump has firmly controlled," the newspaper reported.
"Trump fiercely complained about Gaetz after aides informed Trump that his office had sent the email backing the resolution, which was pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Trump’s team lobbied heavily against the nonbinding resolution," the paper added.
Eric Ueland, the White House's head of legislative affairs, admitted they had been saddened by how Gaetz voted.
“The Trump administration was disappointed in the congressman’s vote and is hopeful that as the president’s foreign policy continues to unfold, he will reconsider his points of view,” Ueland said.
The newspaper noted Gaetz features quotes on his campaign website describing the Florida Republican as “the Trumpiest Congressman in Trump’s Washington,” “Trump’s Best Buddy,” “Trump’s Ultimate Defender,” and “Rising star of the Trumpian right.”
Gaetz, "spent much of the day Friday defending his vote and praising Trump, saying his vote was about principles and not the president and citing friends of his in the military who were killed overseas," The Post reported.
After Rep. Matt Gaetz circulated an email to all other Republican members urging them to vote to curb Trump’s Iran… https://t.co/cA0RPfzz4m— Josh Dawsey (@Josh Dawsey)1578701225.0