President Donald Trump insisted Friday that “the Republicans are very unified” in supporting him amid accusations that he improperly asked foreign leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 political rival.
But that’s not entirely true. While the Democratic-controlled House begins an impeachment inquiry into Trump’s conversations with the Ukrainian government about Biden, which were revealed after a whistleblower complaint, cracks are beginning to show in the Republican Party’s front.
Trump’s public call Thursday for China to investigate Biden, too, appears to have pushed some members of the GOP over the edge.
Here’s a running list of Republicans who are speaking out about Trump’s apparent attempts to compel foreign governments to aid his reelection campaign.
Sen. Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah made the biggest splash Friday of any Republican so far when he slammed Trump’s “brazen and unprecedented” calls for foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election as “wrong and appalling.”
“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney said.
The week before, Romney also spoke out about Trump’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was the first Republican governor to publicly support an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
The action is “appropriate,” he said last week.
“Congress has a solemn responsibility to every American to fulfill its role in our government system of checks and balances,” he said.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also told reporters last week that he supported an impeachment inquiry.
“It’s a deeply disturbing situation and circumstance,” he said, “and I think the proper role and responsibility for Congress at this point is to investigate it and get to the bottom of it.”
Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke
Republican Jim Steineke, the GOP leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly, took a stand against Trump on Friday after the president insisted on Twitter that he was right to ask other countries to investigate Biden.
His behavior “cannot be normalized,” Steineke tweeted.
Sen. Ben Sasse
Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska couldn’t defend Trump’s actions when speaking to reporters last week.
“There’s obviously a lot that’s very troubling there,” he said, though he stopped short of supporting an impeachment inquiry.
“Democrats ought not to be using the word ‘impeach’ before they had the whistleblower complaint or read any of the transcript,” he added, referring to the July 25 call with the Ukraine president.
But he also criticized Republicans for turning a blind eye.
“Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons and say there’s no there there when there’s obviously a lot that’s very troubling there.”
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