With the Trump-Ukraine scandal dominating the national discourse, Republicans in the United States Senate have largely either remained silent or backed President Donald Trump.
Those that have dared publicly break with party orthodoxy have faced intense scrutiny from the commander-in-chief. For instance, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who described Trump’s contacts with Ukraine as “appalling,” is enduring a vicious attack from the president, who has been blasting him via social media with insults and demeaning video compilations.
Those that remain by Trump’s side have projected confidence in public appearances and media interviews, but party leadership is reportedly acutely aware of the situation and worried that the president’s apparent willingness to invite foreign election interference could cost them control of the Senate.
CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash reported on Sunday that Republican Party insiders are becoming increasingly worried about whether the GOP can keep control of the Senate, per Raw Story.
“What you mostly hear from congressional Republicans on impeachment, is the sound of silence. GOP sources tell CNN they have a good reason for that, fear,” Bash said.
The reporter explained that Republican sources have told CNN that party leadership is actually worried about what House investigations will uncover, with some of them frustrated by Trump’s social media attacks.
“He is taking it upon himself to tweet about every shiny object. That is not helpful right now,” a Republican source said of the president.
According to Bash, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “well aware” of the fact that some Republican senators remain exceptionally vulnerable to Democratic challengers. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine, Tom Tillis of North Carolina, and Martha McSally of Arizona could all lose their seats, McConnell reportedly worries.
The communication between Senate Republicans and the White House has not been ideal either, according to Bash, and Republicans in Congress have been getting “very little guidance” from the Oval Office.
“Instead, the emails and tweets and ads are coming out of the campaign, but people on the Hill we talk to say that that’s all well and good but with something this dire, it needs to come from the White House,” Bash said.
Pres. Trump: "I was investigated. I was investigated. Okay? Me. Me. In my campaign. I ran. I won. I was invest—you won’t say that, will you? I was investigated. I was investigated… I was investigated by the Obama administration. By the Obama administration I was investigated." pic.twitter.com/6DmhGM3tWf
— The Hill (@thehill) October 5, 2019
Trump is being accused of pressuring the government of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. According to a whistleblower complaint, the president threatened to cut military aid unless Ukraine’s government complies with his request.
In response to Trump’s targeting of Biden, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives launched a formal impeachment inquiry, seemingly prompting the president to go on the offensive. Since the launching of the inquiry, Trump has strongly denied any wrongdoing and publicly called on Ukraine — and China — to investigate the Bidens.