Reporters are rounding up comments from Republicans to paint the grim picture that the party is slowly losing faith in President Donald Trump for alleged misdeeds in dealing with Russian officials and for interfering with an investigation into the matter run by former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired.
“Even before the latest report about President Trump exploded across Washington on Tuesday, congressional Republicans were troubled,” Real Clear Politics reported.
“When the president abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, the timing was ‘troubling,’ multiple Republican lawmakers agreed,” the report said. ‘So, too, was the president’s tweet threatening to reveal “tapes” of his conversations with Comey.
“Ditto the president’s reported disclosure of highly classified intelligence to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting,” the report said, naming names of those Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (S-SC), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
In the fourth to last paragraph, however, Real Clear Politics notes the latest Gallup poll on Republican support for Trump:
“Were any monumental Republican shift against Trump to transpire, the leading indicator would likely be Trump’s approval rating among Republican voters,” the article said. “So far, that measure has remained solid — with 84 percent Republican approval in the most recent Gallup measure, even as the president’s overall approval has plummeted.”
But this fact comes after a barrage of negative comments about Trump from establishment Republicans.
- McCain overheard by reporters saying on Tuesday that Trump’s scandals are “reaching the point where it’s of Watergate size and scale.”
- Graham told reporters that he is inviting Comey to testify publicly before the Senate judiciary subcommittee that he chairs — “I don’t want to read a memo, I want to hear from him.”
- Scott told CNN keeping up with Trump is like “drinking from a fire hydrant at times.”
- King said that “every day is an adventure.”
- “I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can focus on our agenda,” McConnell told Bloomberg News.
- Sanford said the media-driven narrative about Trump’s alleged misdeeds “would be more than deeply troubling” if true.
- Curbelo urged the creation of a select committee to investigate possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Another Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show that he wants to “go slowly” but wants to see Comey’s alleged notes.
“So I want to go slowly about the way we talk about this, but fundamentally, I do think all of Director Comey’s notes, and I think all – any and all – tapes that exist in the White House ought to be turned over,” Sasse said.
“The intensity of that [poll] support might be gradually eroding, however,” Real Clear Politics concludes, using Sanford as an example of the slipping support for Trump.
“During the House’s weeklong recess, Sanford found that the controversy surrounding Trump ‘is very much hot and bright, and of great concern with regard to the public I talk to back home,’ even in his conservative district.”
“And as more Republicans begin to face such political pressure, Sanford mused, merely expressing worry might not cut it.”
“You get a lot of comments where people say, ‘I hear you that you’re concerned — now what are you going to do about it?’” Sanford said. “And I think that’s going to increasingly be the question asked of Republicans.”