Trump Pushed Other GOP Senators Over Russia
Yesterday there was the bombshell NYT report that spoke with over a dozen sources-GOP sources-that Trump pushed Mitch McConnell to rollback the Russian probe.
Now Politico is reporting that he also butted heads with other GOP Senators over the Russia investigation:
“President Donald Trump privately vented his frustration over Russia-related matters with at least two other Republican senators this month, according to people familiar with the conversations — in addition to the president’s public admonishments of Mitch McConnell, John McCain and Jeff Flake.”
“Trump expressed frustration over a bipartisan bill sanctioning Russia and tried to convince Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that it wasn’t good policy, according to three people familiar with the call. Trump argued that the legislation was unconstitutional and said it would damage his presidency. Corker was unrelenting, these people said, and told Trump the bill was going to pass both houses with bipartisan support.”
Trump dialed up Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Aug. 7, two days before a blunt call with the Senate majority leader that spilled over into a public feud. Tillis is working with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on a bill designed to protect Robert Mueller, the independent counsel investigating the president’s Russia connections, from any attempt by Trump to fire him.”
“The Mueller bill came up during the Tillis-Trump conversation, according to a source briefed on the call — the latest signal of the president’s impatience with GOP senators’ increasing declarations of independence from his White House. Trump was unhappy with the legislation and didn’t want it to pass, one person familiar with the call said.”
Again-there are those who rule by love and those who rule by fear. And then there’s Trump who gets neither though he wants to think he rules by fear.
But his 36% approval rating engenders no fear and his threats to GOP Senators who don’t do what he wants engenders no love.
“Trump’s chewing out of GOP senators, according to people briefed on the calls, reflected the president’s frustration that fellow Republicans would make moves that could damage him, particularly on an investigation that he detests. Trump also complained about the Russian sanctions measure in a call with McConnell earlier this month that devolved into shouting. The New York Times first reported that Trump discussed the Russia probe with McConnell.”
“It seems he is just always focused on Russia,” one senior GOP aide said.
John Kelly is trying gamely to save Trump from himself.
“Since coming into the West Wing, chief of staff John Kelly has tried to curb Trump’s unscheduled interactions with legislators, senior administration officials say. Trump has been known to see a senator on TV or think about an issue and immediately ask White House assistant Madeleine Westerhout to dial the senator.”
“But Kelly has asked that senior White House aides, such as legislative affairs head Marc Short, be present for the calls‚ and for Trump to be briefed in advance on the topic.”
Meanwhile, Bill Palmer argues persuasively that Chuck Grassley may be the next GOP Senator he goes after.
In the previous post we saw how Grassley, after being pressured by his constituents at a Town Hall in Iowa, agreed to vote to release Glenn Simpson’s 10 hrs of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
At Town Hall, Chuck Grassley is pushed to release the 10 hrs of Glenn Simpson testimony; boy this backfired on him https://t.co/01xGdo3l90
— mike sax (@evilsax) August 24, 2017
This now risks Simpson’s many thousands of pages of documents becoming public-which Trump does not want:
“Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has gradually become more willing to properly investigate Donald Trump’s Russia scandal as time has gone on. Over the past months he’s quietly been signing off on every request made by Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein. And now Grassley has finally crossed a Trump-Russia milestone that will surely see Trump publicly ripping into him in vicious fashion.”
“Fusion GPS is the opposition research company that funded the Trump-Russia dossier and the resulting accusations of election-rigging collusion and the Pee Pee Tape. This week the head of that company testified privately before the Senate Judiciary Committee for ten hours. Tonight, in response to a question from a constituent at a town hall, Chuck Grassley confirmed that he’ll let the committee vote on whether to publicly release the transcripts of that testimony. He also said he doesn’t see any reason why he won’t vote yes.”
“It appears Donald Trump’s handlers have him fairly well cut off from most news reports, and he generally only knows what he hears from Fox News. It’s unlikely that Fox will report that Grassley has agreed to push the Pee Pee Tape testimony transcripts out there. But this news will filter back to Trump one way or the other before long. And at that point we can expect Trump to begin attacking Grassley on Twitter, just as he’s done to a number of other Republican Senators this month.”
P.S. Hello! I’m Mike Sax Democratic candidate for NY2. If you want to ride the Impeachment Train all the way to Washington DC in 2019 then please vote for me, Mike Sax NY2.
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