Trump Challenged by Republican Senators
By: Spencer Hagaman
Four highly respected Republican senators challenge and criticize the
president over his remarks in the wake of Charlottesville as a call to
censure the president is pushed among House Democrats.
It’s no secret that President Trump’s agenda and remarks in the first six months of his presidency have faced major pushback from across the aisle. However, the president has been able to retain support from many leading Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate despite failing to pass health care reform.
However, the president’s support in Congress has begun to waver this past week due to his comments on the neo-Nazi and white supremacist inspired attack on Charlottesville. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) criticized the president’s condemnation of white supremacy in a tweet on Tuesday following President Trump’s press conference. Senator Flake has been a major critic of the president prior to the presidential election last November. Trump responded to Flake’s comments on Twitter, calling Flake “toxic” and a “non-factor in the Senate” in a tweet promoting Flake’s 2018 primary election opponent. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also chided the president, reprimanding him for “dividing Americans, not healing them.” The president took to Twitter early Thursday morning to bash Graham, nicknaming him “Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham.” However, Flake and Graham’s conflicts with the president are not new as both senators have confronted the president for his divisive rhetoric even before the election. However, Senators Flake and Graham were joined in their criticisms of the president by fellow Senate colleagues Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) on Thursday. Senator Scott, who represents the state of South Carolina alongside Lindsey Graham, stated Trump’s “moral authority is compromised” from his comments on Tuesday. Meanwhile, while attending an event in his home state of Tennessee, Senator Corker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and once considered for Secretary of State by Trump, called for “some radical changes” in the White House when asked about the president’s comments. Democrats in the House have begun to call for a resolution of censure against the president, condemning the president’s words on white supremacy following the events in Charlottesville. The defection of four highly respected Republican senators does not help the president, possibly even giving the resolution the momentum it needs to pass.
Despite many moderate Republicans beginning to distance themselves from the president, Republicans still retain firm control of the House, easily have the ability to sink the censure if it comes to a party-line vote. However, the recent defections in the Senate indicate that a censure resolution vote could possibly cross party lines. Nonetheless, a censure resolution would merely be a symbolic rebuke of the president’s actions. While it would be a major blow to Trump’s political capital and hold on Washington, it would not take away any of the powers of the presidential office. The best thing the president can do at this point is to cease attacking his detractors and silently ride out this news cycle. That, though, seems highly unlikely.
Spencer Hagaman is a content writer for RevReck.com. Want to read more from him?
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