While it’s certainly true that nearly every week of the 115th Congress has been a bad week for Republicans, this was a particularly brutal five days. From Donald Trump Jr. revealing that the Trump campaign was excited about collusion with the Russian government, to House Republicans exposing themselves as unwilling to put country before party, to more evidence that the House repeal bill is unfixable by the Senate, this was a disastrous week for vulnerable Republicans.
On the other side, House Democrats are continuing to build the largest battlefield in a decade, landing top-tier candidates deep into the map, and out-organizing Republicans on the ground.
Quite the contrast.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort attended a meeting in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer about “very high level and sensitive information” and was a “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
This latest piece of evidence isn’t just a smoking gun. It’s evidence that the Trump campaign was willing and eager to collude with the Russian government in an attempt to distort and undermine our democracy.
- National Review: There is Now Evidence That Senior Trump Officials Attempted to Collude With Russia
- NBC News: Former Soviet Counterintelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer
- Washington Post: Donald Trump Jr. may have crossed the legal line on collusion
- The Atlantic: Did Donald Trump Jr. Break the Law?
- Huffington Post: Donald Trump Jr. Just Tweeted Out Pretty Clear Evidence That He Broke The Law, Experts Say
- Business Insider: A Soviet military officer turned lobbyist attended the Trump Jr. meeting — and there may have been a 6th person, too
- Vox: There was another person at Trump Jr.’s meeting. He might be a Russian spy.
- Time: How Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family
Photo credit: Time Magazine
After this week’s reporting by the New York Times, NBC News and Donald Trump Jr.’s self-incriminating Twitter meltdown, we know for certain that the Trump campaign was willing and eager to collude with the Russian government – including a former Soviet intelligence official – in an attempt to distort and undermine our democracy.
Speaker Ryan and the House Republican Caucus have shown eager complicity. Ryan’s press conference this week provided just the latest example. When asked if he would accept a meeting with someone offering information from a foreign adversary, Ryan refused to say no and brushed it off as a mere hypothetical. Considering that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election, the Trump campaign was eager to collude with them, and a Speaker Ryan-aligned group and Republican candidate used Russian hacked materials last cycle, Ryan’s inability to say he would not collude with a foreign adversary is troubling.
Unfortunately, House Republicans across the country have eagerly matched Ryan’s lack of independent leadership. Here’s a look at some examples from just this week…
- Martha McSally (AZ-02): “has largely sidestepped the larger issue of Russian interference in the election.”
- Jeff Denham (CA-10): A Sacramento Bee editorial asked this week: “What is it going to take for the likes of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Jeff Denham of Turlock and Tom McClintock of Elk Grove to speak out?”
- David Valadao (CA-21): “Valadao made it clear he had no interest in discussing the latest blockbuster as he rushed past a reporter on his way to a vote on the House floor”.
- Devin Nunes (CA-22): “Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he would not discuss Russia or ‘anything that starts with R.’”
- Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48): “This is not a big deal. It’s a nothing burger. By the way, people come to me all the time and want to talk to me about this or that, I listen to everybody on every side, and that’s the way it should be.”
- Ted Yoho (FL-03): “Do I think it’s appropriate? I think I probably would have done the same thing”.
- David Young (IA-03): “I’m just going to let them deal with this.”
- Robert Pittenger (NC-09): “just another story in the media’s neurotic, weekly tabloid obsession of Trump-Russian collusion.”
- Don Bacon (NE-02): “Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., had nothing to say about the emails themselves…”
- Lee Zeldin (NY-01): “this is condiments on a nothing burger.”
- Tom Reed (NY-23): “The evidence that we’ve seen today in my opinion does not show any level of collusion…”
- Claudia Tenney (NY-22): “Screaming about this collusion for a year and they have yet to come up with anything.”
- Chris Collins (NY-27): “Hillary Clinton was doing incredible opposition research on the Trumps. We all face that. That’s what politics is these days.”
- Dave Brat (VA-07): “Mark Warner’s seeing smoke everywhere he goes like he’s in a Cheech and Chong movie. Kaine now thinks the son is worse than Benedict Arnold. It’s gotten hysterical.”
The reviews are in on the “new” Senate bill…
- Vox: The new Senate health bill is terrible for anyone who is sick, has been sick, or will be sick
- Washington Post: Revised Senate health-care bill still lacks the votes to pass
- NYT: Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill but Divisions Remain
- The Guardian: Senate Republicans’ new revised healthcare bill fails to bridge any gaps
- USA Today: New Senate health bill still risky for older people’s premiums, any pre-existing conditions
- Business Insider: From acne to pregnancy, here’s every ‘preexisting condition’ that could put your insurance at risk under the Senate’s healthcare bill
The repeal backlash was alive and well in districts across the country…
- CA-49: San Diego Union Tribune: Protests move back to sidewalk by Issa’s Vista office
- CA-49: Escondido Grapevine: Issa attempt to outlaw Vista protests fails
- ME-02: Maine Beacon: Rep. Poliquin flees retirement facility when seniors question his health care repeal vote
- ME-02: Kennebec Journal: Poliquin under fire in video, audio over health care bill
- MI-07: WLNS: Activists urge local members of Congress to vote against GOP health care plan
- NJ-ALL: Star-Ledger: Studies refute Republican arguments for repealing Obamacare
- NJ-03: Jersey Shore Online: Healthcare rally held in downtown Toms River
- NY-01: Southampton Press: Health Care Concerns Are Common Theme During Zeldin’s Latest Office Hours
- NY-22: Observer Dispatch: Constituents turn out for Coffee with Claudia event