As noted by the Politico Playbook, Republican lawmakers -- with a few notable exceptions -- have avoided making any public statements criticizing Donald Trump over comments he made about captured and dead U.S. military personnel where he described them as "suckers" and "losers."
While Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars prior to winning a seat in Congress in 2010, said that the report from The Atlantic left him "speechless," fellow Republicans are actually remaining speechless and not running to the press to push back against the president and condemn his smear of American military personnel.
According to the report, "Amid all the furious responses to the Atlantic article alleging that President Donald Trump had called American troops 'suckers' and 'losers,' one thing leaps out: You didn’t see Republican members of Congress leaping to defend the president’s character."
Case in point is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who served in both the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve and received a Bronze Star, and who has been notably silent, although he did take time out from his busy schedule to praise the president on Twitter for not defunding Stars & Stripes -- but no mention of the president's highly controversial comments.
According to Politico, "Some of this may be the late summer recess talking. But I’m told telephones and the internet still work outside of Washington -- and Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill did not exactly rally to his defense. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for one, managed to praise the president for saving the military publication Stars & Stripes, but said nothing directly about the big story White House aides and loyal alumni were scrambling to discredit. Other prominent GOP members ignored the subject altogether."
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