I couldn’t believe I actually say the word “disarray” applied to Republicans in an AP story. This is the former home of Ron Fournier. And Democrats in Disarray is just more alliterative than Republicans in Disarray! Granted, the headline didn’t actually have the word disarray in it, but this AP article really wasn’t all that enthusiastic about Republican strategy on this issue.
As Democrats and the director of national intelligence worked out key arrangements, Trump’s allies erupted in a surge of second-guessing and conspiracy theorizing across the Sunday talk shows, suggesting the White House strategy is unclear against the stiffest challenge to his presidency. One former adviser urged Trump to confront the crisis at hand and get past his fury over the probe of Russian election interference.
“I honestly believe this president has not gotten his pound of flesh yet from past grievances on the 2016 investigation,” said Tom Bossert, Trump’s former homeland security adviser. “If he continues to focus on that white whale,” Bossert added, “it’s going to bring him down.”
The Ukraine investigation produced what the Russian probe did not: formal House impeachment proceedings based on the president’s own words and actions.
Emboldened is mine.
And several diaries have already pointed out how badly Republicans did on the Sunday TV shows. The AP does its best to sanitize the ruptured septic tank that was Republican talking points.
In contrast, Republicans offered a televised array of strategies to a president who spent the day at his golf club in Virginia and prefers to handle his own communications.
Stephen Miller, the president’s senior policy adviser, called the whole inquiry a “partisan hit job” orchestrated by “a deep state operative” who is also “a saboteur.”
“The president of the United States is the whistleblower,” Miller said.
And House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump had done nothing impeachable.
“Why would we move forward with impeachment? There’s not something that you have to defend here,” the California Republican said.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who has been encouraging Ukraine to investigate both Biden and Hillary Clinton, promoted a debunked conspiracy theory, insisting that Ukraine had spread disinformation during the 2016 election.
Bossert advised that Trump drop that defense.
“I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again,” said Bossert, who also was an adviser to President George W. Bush. “That conspiracy theory has got to go, they have to stop with that, it cannot continue to be repeated.”
No mention of the pushback that many of these Republicans received from the likes of Chris Wallace and Jake Tapper. But this is the AP we are talking about.