Congressional GOP shrugs off latest Trump-Russia twist

  • In World/Europe
  • 2017-07-12 16:13:55Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - Emails released by President Donald Trump's eldest son detailing communications with Russians have provoked a collective shrug from many Republicans in Congress.

Scant new concern was evident from Republican leadership on down, despite the revelation of an email chain showing that Trump's son eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father's campaign.

On Wednesday, a day after Donald Trump Jr. released the emails himself, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it was unacceptable that Russia meddled in the elections but deflected specific questions. He cited the Department of Justice's special counsel and congressional investigations.

"I think it's very important that these professionals in these committees do their jobs so that we can get to the bottom of all of this," Ryan said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did the same on Tuesday.

"The investigation in the Senate's being handled by the Intelligence Committee, and I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of whatever may have happened," McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters asking about his views on the matter.

McConnell gave similar responses when asked whether he still trusts the president on Russia issues, and whether he himself regrets not taking action after getting briefed last fall, along with other high-level House and Senate lawmakers of both parties, about Russia's attempted meddling in the U.S. election.

Trump Jr., along with several White House officials, has repeatedly denied any collusion with anyone tied to the Russian government. But the emails he posted on Twitter - shortly prior to publication by The New York Times - indicated that members of the president's inner campaign circle met with Russians whom they knew wanted Trump to prevail.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said the Russian government meddled in the election to aid Trump. Although the president himself has yet to fully embrace that conclusion, investigations are under way by the House and Senate intelligence committees as well as the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, Robert Mueller.

As the story has developed, most congressional Republicans have downplayed new news and deferred to the investigations under way. Tuesday was no different, despite attempts by minority Democrats to stoke outrage.

"I think that's overblown," said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a senior Republican, describing Donald Trump Jr. as "a very nice young man."

"One of the things that endears the president to me is how nice his children are. And they all love him. So, and he divorced their mothers, and they love him," Hatch said.

Democrats were predictably furious. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, California Rep. Adam Schiff, said the emails are "obviously very significant, deeply disturbing, new public information about direct contacts between the Russian government and its intermediaries and the very center of the Trump family, campaign and organization."

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said the emails show "textbook evidence of criminal intent." Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a senior Democrat on the Intelligence panel, said they show collusion.

But the Democrats have little leverage. Many Republicans' reluctance reflects their constituencies' strong support for the president - and lack of interest for the Russia story.

"President Trump is the greatest thing that has happened to this country," Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, who faces a primary challenge Aug. 15, recently told a county GOP executive committee. "I consider it a Biblical miracle that he's there."


More Related News

Myanmar protesters try to block aid shipment to Muslim Rohingya
Myanmar protesters try to block aid shipment to Muslim Rohingya
  • World
  • 2017-09-21 06:10:20Z

By Andrew R.C. Marshall SITTWE, Myanmar (Reuters) - Buddhist protesters in Myanmar threw petrol bombs to try to block a shipment of aid to Muslims in Rakhine state, where the United Nations has accused the military of ethnic cleansing, before police fired in the air to disperse them. Hundreds of protesters

'We're embarrassed too': How John Kelly reacted to Donald Trump's threats against North Korea
'We're embarrassed too': How John Kelly reacted to Donald Trump's threats against North Korea

John Kelly, Donald Trump's chief-of-staff, appeared to go through an "existential crisis" on Tuesday, social media users joked, as he listened to the president's address to the UN General Assembly. Mr Trump used his maiden address to the world's leaders to escalate his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge, threatening to "totally destroy" the country of 26 million people and mocking its leader, Kim Jong-un, as a "rocket man." A great and important day at the United Nations.Met with leaders of many nations who agree with much (or all) of what I stated in my speech!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017 It was...

Trump takes 'America First' to wary U.N. audience
Trump takes 'America First' to wary U.N. audience

President Trump will use his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Iran, call for global action on North Korea, and unapologetically defend his nationalistic "America First" stance before wary world leaders, administration officials said. Chinese President Xi Jinping is skipping the annual diplomatic crush in New York, but Trump will at least implicitly criticize Beijing in his Tuesday speech for not doing enough to tighten an economic vise on North Korea.

Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West
Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty ...

Hillary Clinton Won't Rule Out Questioning The Legitimacy Of Donald Trump's Election
Hillary Clinton Won't Rule Out Questioning The Legitimacy Of Donald Trump's Election

Hillary Clinton opened the door to possibly questioning whether Donald Trump was legitimately elected president, depending on the outcome of investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Europe

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.